The Rake


Even for the casual observer, a loom weaving an intricately designed fabric is a hypnotic sight. For those who adhere to the tenets of this magazine, witnessing weft interlace with warp — based on complex mathematical sequences that, like the chalk equations on a physicist’s blackboard, reflect the intellectual efforts of the very finest in their discipline — is a life-enriching experience.

It’s a process that happens at a rate of around 10 million metres per year, using three million kilograms of wool, at Vitale Barberis Canonico (VBC), the three-and-a-half-century-old establishment based 50 miles north of Turin in the Biella region of Italy. VBC not only farm wool in Australia but also comb, dye, spin, design, weave and finish stunning fabrics for the most prestigious bespoke workshops in the world, not to mention many of the major brands.

“Paul Smith is the master of classic with a twist. It’s a touch of humour, and I love the English sense of humour.”

As Creative Director and the 13th generation custodian of what is a

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