in May we left things with me saying that I would have liked telling you about how an Alloa Casale piece is actually made.
Here I finally am telling you about my production line, letting you take a peek behind the scenes to
tell you how a piece that I hope you’ll love and keep in your wardrobe is created.
As I previously said I believe that sharing is the strongest power we have and therefore I will try to
be as generous as possible in telling the details about my job, but if I won’t resolve some of your
doubts or curiosities you can simply write to me and I’ll be happy to help you.
THE SEARCH FOR THE MATERIAL
This is the mountain to climb. And probably the obstacle that discourage a lot of very talented
rookies designers that have no idea where to find their raw material. It is indeed very hard to find
serious textile producers that will furnish even small businesses. The minimum order required is
usually from the 100 metres of fabric and upward and until a few years ago they required a
minimum of 300 metres of fabric!
Luckily some companies are including small producers by including in their productions continuous
fabrics that is possible to order in smaller quantities. Finding them is not easy and it requires a
great work of research and a good amount of patience. The alternative solution can be to
replenish in bulk with fine patches or rejects that come from the big industries but for a various
number of reasons ( that, if you are interested, I can explain to you ) is not the path we decided to
We only use natural fabrics without the presences of synthetic base stock and with certifications
like Oeko-Tex, GOTS or BlueSign.
Once I’ve found a fabric I might be interested in I order a certain amount of it to produce the first
sample and most of the times it’s immediately clear if a fabric is suitable or not. The final
contenders undergo washing and usura tests to confirm or not the expectations.
Once a made my choice I order the fabric and in approximately two weeks the netting get sent to
The design process usually starts from a specific element. I have in mind to realise a piece with a
certain sleeve or neckline or a certain length and I develop the model around that specific
I usually outline different versions of the same model to then reduce them to two or three
What’s important in this phase is to have in your mind the most clearer possible the idea of how the
three-dimensional model is going to be to make on the righter choices.
At this point I realise the model, I’m not able in draping so I use paper, a pencil and rulers. The finishing techniques and the methods of construction are decided during this phase, but sometimes they change when I assemble a new piece and I realize that they can be better or simpler alternatives. Every model follows the features of the fabric and it can happen that the model and the fabric don’t go well together. To make an example: I wanted to realise the Angela skirt with the wall crepe but, after a few tries, I had to give up because the thickness that was being created in the strap was too much. It hindered the sliding of the elastic creating an anesthetic swelling, a problem that wasn’t there when I used the silk, which is a much lighter fabric.
The rough estimates of the costs also are part of the designer process; it’s in this moment that I
estimate the necessary amount of fabric, the accessories to utilise ( buttons, canvas adhesive\
stickers or an elastic band ) and lastly the time that certain final touches require compared to
One of the reasons our pieces are very basic is because I want them to be developed in every
size. Something we don’t do is to diversify the prices based on the size, it’s something extremely
common but that I’m not personally a fan of. I try instead to create models that have the same cost
in all of the different sizes. This brings us to:
DEVELOPMENT AND PACKAGING:
Every model is developed in every single size we offer you. I’ve adopted two types of
measurement, the more conventional one that goes from the xxs to the xxl, instead for the more “
comfy ” models we utilise the sizes s1 s2 s3.
The size fitting is probably the most technical part of my job. I used create the sample in my size,
only to develop it in all the other sizes after. It’s a job which is not very intuitive but extremely
technical, it follows very precise rules that cannot be changed. When I believe that a piece wouldn’t be harmonic if developed in a size xxl then I don’t pursue my initial plan. This is very important for me.
Our models need to able to dress all women and suit every woman.
Once the developments are made I proceed making the models in different colours and sizes for
the models that will wear them during the shooting. This pieces will not be sold but will be kept as
samples and handy references for the future productions.
Something to pay attention to is the shrinkage of the fabric: since the piece has be
included by the size table after the first wash and that fabric I cut from has not been
washed, the models put into production have to take into account the behaviour of the fabric itself
once it’s wet. This phase requires a lot of calculations because every type of fabric and every
coloration has its own shrinkage.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND EDITING THE SITE:
When I’m sure that the designed, packaged and developed products are what I originally had in
mind it’s when kicks in my husband, Fabrizio.
We organize 3-4 photo sessions during the year in which we try to capture the soul of our pieces.
We try to do something more than just photographing the piece of clothing seen from the front, the
side, the back and in detail. Images is all we have to show you our work and therefore they are
essential. From the pictures I want people to perceive the weight of the fabric and the way it moves
over the body. We try to post-produce our pictures as little as possible because it’s very hard to
make sure that the color reflect the real tone. As I wrote last month we are constantly searching for
new models to have a range of sizes as diversified as possible, but believe me when I tell you it
We love be in tune with the people we work with because it’s thanks to everyone’s work that our
project can move forward. We have been working since the beginning with the same makeup artist because we trust her as a person and as a professional and the same goes for all the models that work together with us.
After having selected and arranged the pictures we work on the site creating the product pages
with accurate descriptions.
I hardly ever describe technically the characteristics of the item, for that we have images.
Instead I try to tell you what I see, the reason why the sleeve has that cut and why the neckline has
that depth. I write how I would wear that piece and in which occasion, because every piece has a
story and I tell you mine
CUT AND ORDER PREPARATION
Yay a new order has arrived.
I cut the pieces once a week to be able to fit more models as I can maximizing the time and reducing to the minimum the waste of fabric. My table is 3 metres long, this allows me to have a large workspace. The action of overlay more than one layer of fabric to cut in one go multiple models is that of creating a mattress. Over the mattress are placed the models that need to be cut blocked by weights. When the mattress is ready and the models are placed we proceed with the cut using repeatedly an electrical cutter ( that is very practical ) or a pair of scissors if the mattress isn’t very tall. Once all the pieces have been cut I regroup them in packages, including composition tag, the label of the logo and all the necessary accessories ( buttons, elastic band,tags... ) Every order corresponds to a package.
This one is for me the most satisfactory part, the one when I know exactly where I’m putting my
hands, what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. This part unfolds between three equipments: linear
sewing machine, a 5-thread overlock and an iron. I might need to use the electronic buttonhole for
the shirts but I essentially use the three machines already quoted. To give life to a three-
dimensional piece starting from a flat piece of fabric it’s something magical. In this phase I enter
my own world: I move from a machine to the other knowing exactly what I have to do, every seam
leads me to the next one because all the decisions regarding the design have already been made
and now it’s all about sewing.
FINISHING CHECK and SHIPPING
Now that the piece has been made it’s time to wash it and iron it. I meticulously check the package
and I make sure that aren’t anomalies for what it concerns the sizes ( I always ask my husband
who is the most neat person I know.)
Now that the piece is ready I take care of the last details of the packing and I send it.
SUPPORT E FEEDBACK
In the meantime we provide support and help to those who need it to make a purchase or to the
clients that need to make a return or solve a problem.
Your feedback is extremely important to us. The first hand experience that the clients have with my
job defines my future design choices, your opinion is the circle that closes itself.
Ok that is all, see you soon!