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Catching up with Gran Sasso

When it comes to knitwear, few brands do it as well as Gran Sasso. With a 60+ year history, their own manufacturing and dyeing facilities, and award-winning factories, they have become one of the top players in luxury knits. 

They make nearly 300,000 garments per year, so you could say they know what they’re doing.

We had the opportunity to ask Gianluca Di Stefano, the founder’s grandson, a few questions about what makes Gran Sasso so special.

Your grandfather was one of the founders of Gran Sasso. When did you get involved?

Gianluca: I feel so lucky to be the grandson of one of the founders. When I was a child, I used to come into the company, walk among the walls and I feel fascinated by everything around me. I can say that I've always been in Gran Sasso but, from the institutional point of view, I've been working here since 2012 as an export specialist.

The Gran Sasso factory in Italy is magnificent and has even won some awards. What makes it special?

Gianluca: We have joined the “good life” concept and it’s clear in everything we do. Our factory is the result of the relation among work, human needs and green value. 

The complex is characterized by a rational and minimal design concept of the architect Guido Canali, master in shaping construction types already tested, turning them into elements of a coherent language of great civil dignity that fully reflects his customers' spirit. He was awarded an honorable mention at the 2009 Milan Triennal Prize "Medaglia d'Oro all'Architettura" (Golden Medal for Architecture).

Each season your team comes out with uniquely soft and elegant colours for your knitwear. How do you come up with them?

Gianluca: Colors are one of the most important things in a collection. Every season, our brand manager Carlo Di Stefano studies fashion trends and researches new tones and combinations, often together with our yarn suppliers.

Carlo Di Stefano at Gran Sasso selecting colours

Carlo Di Stefano selecting colours

Gianluca: Gran Sasso decided that it could be a good idea to have a company for implementing and developing dyeing techniques for its garments.

So, in 1980, Gran Sasso founded Texcolor, today one of the most cutting-edge companies to develop innovative dyeing techniques, such as the vintage and cloud effects. Texcolor has gained such considerable importance that works for Gran Sasso and other well-known fashion brands, too.

Tell us about the process your team uses to create your knitwear.

Gianluca: Each piece goes through multiple steps of production: knitting, linking, checks, ironing, and labeling. The first three steps are the most crucial for quality.

1) Knitting

The knitting process of a basic pullover is made up of knitting the front, back, sleeves and collar. We use Shima Seiki machines, the most innovative and efficient on the market. 

Shima Seiki knitting machines at Gran Sasso

2) Rimaglio (linking)

The rimaglio process is the most difficult step of sewing in the knitwear world, but also the most elegant way to link 2 different parts of a sweater.

Gran Sasso uses rimaglio to link the most important parts of a sweater:

  • Shoulders (the front with the back)
  • Armhole
  • Collar

Linking process at gran sasso

It is expensive in terms of time because the operator has to link 2 different parts of a sweater connecting needle by needle. The more fine the gauge of the sweater is, the more difficult the process is.  

3) Check

Gran Sasso checks each sweater 5 times: during knitting, after knitting (mirroring), after ironing, and during packaging.

The most accurate check is the mirroring. The operator puts the part of the sweater to be checked on an illuminated table and uses a big lens to check very carefully for holes or defects.

Mirroring check phase for knitwear at Gran Sasso

If the operator finds a mistake, he sends it to repair, or reproduce the whole part. 

Want a more in-depth look at the process? Take a look at their video here: 

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