Manufacturing fabrics requires time, patience and dedication. There are six stages of production:
1 Preparation of the cones, first thread preparation for the loom and bindings
The raw materials (cotton and linen) arrive at the workshop in the form of naturally-coloured cones. They are put in the creel so that all the threads will pass through the warper where they are grouped together ready to prepare the yarn reserves which are pulled away manually. Reserves (bindings) are the areas of the threads covered with pieces of plastic, tightly knotted so that during the dyeing process, the dye cannot penetrate that area. This is how the distinctive patterns of chevrons or combinations of various colour tones are achieved; this artisan process creates subtle irregularities in the dyeing and blurs the edges of the pattern. The first stage takes a day.
2 Dyeing of the threads
The threads which have been grouped together are dyed in a boiler. In a few hours the cotton will have been uniformly dyed in the desired colour. Then the plastic reserves are removed.
The threads are carried up to the terraced roof of the workshop where they are hung on bars which allow them to dry without tangling. It may take 4-10 days before they are sufficiently dry.
4Second thread preparation for the loom
Once they are dry, the threads are manually grouped in the warper. This stage takes three days, because threads have to be put into order, one by one. This is important; if they are not arranged correctly, the resulting pattern will not match the intended design.
5 The loom
In the loom, the threads are now woven plain-weave, using natural linen as the weft. We usually produce 40 metres a day.
Once the fabric is woven, it is taken from the loom and rolled. On another machine the metres are counted off and the material is submitted to an inspection lamp for any possible defects. Only then is it ready to be sold.