field trip to Italy
Our sock mission took us to brescia, italy, the home and historical region of the quality sock. we felt it was essential to meet the supplier face-to-face before ordering our first batch, to help us get a sense of how the factory was run and to see how bundles of yarn were transformed into our everyday socks. we were not let down. the entrance to the factory was full of plants. plants that had been there for thirty to forty years - crawling and bending to find space. Meeting the owner, and his son, over a shot of espresso, gave us an insight into their quiet pride and confidence in their family run business. it felt instinctive and immediately reassuring.
Led through a warren of heavy doors and high shelves we arrived in the room where the socks were made. it was quite small, with around 20 knitting machines. Focussed and skilled workers circled them on a continuous loop, checking for snapped yarn, broken needles and collecting the beautiful items for their next stage - the hand-linking of the toes. The attention to detail was captivating.
finally we were introduced to the machine that would make our socks. Up to this point our thoughts and ideas had felt ethereal and fluid. to be confronted with a big blue box of metal that would materialise our design was mind blowing. we moved to the yarn section of the factory and through to the loading area, where our boxes of socks would eventually be put in a van and driven to us.
after a wonderful lunch in true italian style, we flew back with our heads full of plans.