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Thursday, September 20, 2012
A Little About Bresciani Socks - An Interview With Massimiliano Bresciani
Bresciani started in 1970. What has changed in the world of socks since 1970? Do you have any images of socks from the original collection that you would be able to share with us?
The big change in the socks industry was before 1970, when socks manufacturing went from flat knitting machines (the same machines that are used for knitwear), to the production of socks through circular machines, which reduced dramatically the timing and the cost in producing a pair of socks. This was back in the 1940’s. Since the 1970’s the biggest change in the industry has been the arrival on the market of the ‘linked-toe’ machines, which are able to produce the sock with toe already closed.
How many pairs of socks should a man have in his drawer and what proportion of them should be black?
This is a difficult question. Personally I have more than 50 pairs of socks. But, then again, not everyone is involved in the socks industry like I am. 24 pairs should be a good number for a socks lover. With regards to the colour, in Europe the best seller is navy, but in the USA and in Russia, the most sold colour is black. It is, really, depending on the country. Regardless, almost 50% of your collection should be in these two solid colours.
In terms of sock theft, do you have any tricks for preventing someone in your household from
stealing your socks and is sock theft as prevalent in Italy as it is in Australia?
I think this is probably the same story for all small items. To be honest, I don’t have the statistics on this one nor do I have a permanent solution, so I’ll pass.
How should you fold your socks?
For me personally, I like them rolled together with the inside out.
Can you please describe for our readers the different types of wool and fabric construction that you refer to when talking about socks? For example, with respect to cotton shirting, people often talk about 100 2ply cotton to 200 2 ply cotton and blends of cotton/linen, Egyptian cotton, Sea Island cotton… What is the equivalent language in the world of socks?
The first thing you need to understand is that the way we initially grade socks is from the cone yarns. It means we don’t really talk about the fabrics but about the yarns. The measure of the yarns is in the yarn count. So, the higher the yarn count, the finer the fabric as a general rule. For example, the finest cotton used in the socks industry is 120/2. This means that there are 120 kilometres! (difficult to believe but it is true!) of 2 ply cotton yarn in 1 kilogram of yarn. Then, if you go down from here, the count is then say 100/2, then 90/2 etc. It is roughly the same measurement system for woollen socks. Australian Merino wool is very fine, so an example of 2/72 means that there is 72 kilometres! of 2 ply wool yarn in every 1 kilogram. The big difference after this becomes the machine that is used to make the socks. For example, you could use a monocyclinder which gives an embroidered style of a microdesign. Or, you could use a double cylinder machine, which is used for solid colours and jacquards. Then on top of this you have another production quality which is the gauge. The gauge means the number of needles in an inch. The finest machines usually have around 260 needles for luxury socks whereas sports socks usually require 60 needles.
How should you wash a pair of Bresciani socks?
The best way to wash a pair of fine socks is by hands. When you can’t do that, wash them in a machine at 30 degrees Celsius on a very low tumble.
In your opinion, should your socks match or not match your tie or bow tie or should they match the colour of your suit? Or the colour of your shoes? How should a man pair go about matching up his socks with his attire?
Ah my friend, this is another question of personal taste. I usually match the socks and the tie. The trend, at the moment, is to wear very bright colours.
What is your favourite pair of socks?
This is that question that no mother wishes to field. It is the same as asking which of her sons does she prefer? Of course, she will tell you she loves them all equally, as I will tell you about my socks. But if you ask her quietly, she will tell you her favourite, and I will tell you that our Vanisee Two Tone Ribs in 100% cotton are my favourite!