COMO, Italy — A down jacket with no duck feathers? Yes, thanks to Italian firm Saldarini 1882, which has trademarked the 100% Cashmere Flakes Padding technique that refines and employs cashmere as padding in garments under its Spread moniker.
“The padding has the same visual impact and the same softness of the feather down when touched and it has an elevated power of thermal isolation,” explained owner Francesco Saldarini. In addition, cashmere improves its softness in time and the padding is ecological, he contended. “Also, you’ll never see cashmere spilling out of its stitches as it often happens with feathers.”
Reversible jackets made with archival prints from the family-owned Saldarini firm, which dates back to 1882, will feature the cashmere padding, at times enriched with faux fur, to bow for fall. Over the years, through its extensive scarves and foulards business, the company has built an impressive archive. “This is a new industrial trademark that challenges the use of duck feathers,” said Saldarini. His wife, designer Laurence Saldarini, emphasized “the contrast between innovation and tradition.”
The Spread brand, which has been showing at Coterie in New York and White in Milan, launched in October 2012. “It was shortly after [former Prime Minister] Silvio Berlusconi’s [handling] of Italy’s bond spread,” said Saldarini of the idea behind the name, which was clearly catchy at the time.
The trademark was deposited in January for a procedure that opens and expands the fiber of cashmere which is then injected in nylon. The technique also works with different fabrics, noted Saldarini. He added that he would like to find a luxury partner to work on this trademark and further develop it.
To raise the design bar, the entrepreneur has tapped Daniele Calcaterra starting with the spring 2017 season. Saldarini praised Calcaterra for his “very clean geometric lines and classic but elegant volumes.” Calcaterra, a former creative director of Piazza Sempione, also designs his own namesake brand. “He is daring, but never excessively, and his image is consistent.”
“In this economy, there is no room for improvisation and you must differentiate yourself,” added Laurence Saldarini.
Spread jackets with the cashmere padding retail at between 350 and 500 euros, or $394 and $563 at current exchange rates.