435. I’ve always been strongly determined…
My classmate, Elena Mannini, later to become a great designer of theatrical costumes, was working as a stylist in Florentine knitwear at Motta Angora. She was very creative, always looking for new ideas. She brought me some white pullovers and we studied some drawings together. I then built some artisan print frames.
The first tests, the first results, were not so bad but we knew we could do better. The dyes were not the right ones, so many things did not convince me. I’ve always been strongly determined and I never liked mediocrity. I did not want to face my first real client with results I was not entirely happy with.
Finally, my stubborn tests were producing something different. When I was almost satisfied, I introduced my samples to the owner of the knitwear factory. He was very happy, and in the following days sales increased.
Soon the six metre table, that in the beginning I thought would be big enough, proved not big enough for the amount of work that I was getting. I ordered a new one, twenty metres long.
The printing house–garage–workshop where I started creating my own prints on fabric had outlived its usefulness so I decided to move to a new studio, in Via Tagliaferri, more suited to my ambitions for growth.
I hired two assistant, one was my former classmate, Grazia Catani, and the other was Tiziano Caldini, a fifteen-year-old boy from Greve in Chianti… Between the three of us we did not add up to sixty years of age. By uniting together we built a small printing industry based on jerseys. In fact, we had to grow and became more industrial so as to produce larger volumes more quickly.
What I knew about printing, however, was not enough. I had to deepen my knowledge on the subject and I decided to find new solutions and so began to visit other printing houses in Northern Italy.
Como, the Italian capital of textile printing, became my regular destination. The Highway connecting Firenze to Northern Italy was still under construction and the Florence-Bologna stretch almost non-existent. In the meantime I had become the owner of a blue Fiat Cinquecento with red seats and so the trip to Como did not fatigue me – I was determined to succeed.
To be continued…
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