The Royal Fibre Featured

Ballantyne makes the most exclusive cashmere sweaters in the world using the best raw materials
by 02 September 2010

Classic understatement and contemporary interpretations; British style, Italian tailoring. Today, Ballantyne’s main challenge is to develop new interpretations of "classic style", in order to achieve a sports look that also addresses the needs of an informal, relaxed and refined lifestyle.

The classic intarsia
Traditional craftsmanship utilises only hand knitting machines, with a procedure that can last up to 15 hours for a single item. The intarsia sweaters that have made Ballantyne world-famous are unique and exclusive, as stated on each label (“This is an original Ballantyne”.) The experience and professionalism of the marque are still reflected in the choice of colours and patterns, all preserved in the company’s archives and drawn on graph paper (in which each millimetre grid corresponds to a needle in the knitting machine). The patterns that have secured the brand's place in history are thus constantly available for reference.

Over the course of 100 years, the Ballantyne brand has been able to constantly renew its profile and visibility, while remaining faithful to traditional methods in which hand craftsmanship still plays an essential role. Its undeniable quality is championed by jetsetters and celebrities alike: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (each spring, she would go to Berk on Madison Avenue to buy a series of Twin Set Ballantyne two-threads in pastel colours, to be worn during her long horse rides), Queen Elizabeth II, Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, Natalia Vodianova, Michael Schumacher, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig.

Ballantyne’s first and flagship store in Milan is on Via Sant’Andrea 10/A. The boutique exudes a relaxed, elegant and friendly atmosphere through its clever use of gray and prune, the brand’s theme colours. Details such as cashmere curtains, Ballantyne’s signature diamond-shaped motif and beautiful wood flooring give you a sense of being home away from home. Browse the impressive cashmere collection on the store’s centrepiece, a floor-to-ceiling shelf filled with handmade sweaters in rainbow colours. Or, have a seat in the Bergere armchairs and enjoy a different kind of shopping experience. Ballantyne also has locations in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Luxury Mall in Porto Cervo and Catania, but for the fashion lovers who adore the classics, stopping by Ballantyne’s flagship store in Milan is a must.

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Italy FW 2010