The Città Scarf - Our Method of Screen Printing
Of all of our scarfs, the Città best represents the ethos of Passeggiata, and our commitment to designing foundational products that are produced to the highest possible standards. The Città is the cornerstone of our Ferragosto collection not just because of its classic and easy-to-wear 90 x 90cm size, but also because of its very special method of production. It is screen printed by hand, using a technique called dye and discharge printing.
Production for the Città begins with creating the framed rectangular mesh screens needed for printing. Each color in the design requires its own screen. So, producing the Città requires two screens - one for the blue houndstooth pattern, and one for the green shoestring hand-rolled edge.
After the screens are made in-house, the printing process can begin. There are two schools of traditional screen printing, dye and discharge and application, both of which produce beautiful prints and require the specialized know-how of skilled craftspeople. The difference in the methods comes down to how the paint behaves after it is applied to the silk. Many producers in France and Como use the application method, whereby the color is applied to the silk and sits surface level.
The Città is produced using the dye and discharge method. First, the silk is piece-dyed to the most prominent color of the design, in our case, beige. After the silk is dyed, it is laid out onto a long table to be printed, and a two-person team of craftspeople, standing on either side of the table, apply the paint to the screen in a back and forth motion. This is one of the most critical steps in the production and requires that the craftspeople be of similar height and weight so that the paint is evenly and consistently applied. Compared to the application method, when the blue and green paint is applied, it penetrates each layer of the beige piece-dyed silk and replaces it. This is an extremely tricky process as the paint naturally wants to spread in all directions, and requires very specialized technique to keep the paint within the design’s boundaries. The end result is a much deeper and richer color that looks as if it lives within the silk, rather than just surface level.
Thanks for your comment! Another note on the dye and discharge printing process that you might find interesting – it’s what brings to life our signature peach fuzz (manopesca) softness of the scarf.
Very cool. I’ve been collecting scarves for a long time, and wasn’t aware of just how much skill is involved in the printing process. I’m loving my Città, even more so now knowing that it’s in a class of its own!