On a recent trip to Venice, SuperyachtDesign was lucky enough to get an early look at Rubelli’s textile collection for 2014. The historic Italian company has now officially revealed the collection to the world outside its Palazzo Corner Spinelli head office. We explore the inspiration behind one of the designs, Lady Roxana.

“Through our fabrics, we communicate Venice,” Nicolo Rubelli, CEO and sales director of Rubelli, tells us. “This new collection is a celebration of our history but also one that shows us reinterpreting and developing.” Among the striking new designs in the collection, which range from hand-woven silks – which Rubelli are famous for – and new takes on lampas pieces in Trevira, is Lady Roxana, a floral printed cotton that embraces Rubelli’s skill at bringing the past into the present.

“We developed this from a sketch in the archive from the second half of the 19th century,” says Alberto Pezzato, chief designer for Rubelli. “It is always a challenge to create something new but connect to the past, but this achieves it.” The floral pattern is printed on a cotton ground, reproducing the original pattern from the archives. Interestingly, this print reproduces much of the sketch exactly as it can be seen now. “Being from a painted document, the original sketch has aged, has stains and imperfections,” says Pezzato. “We left some of these in because it adds interest and makes it more Rubelli.”

The colourway and brushstrokes, as well as fraying, fading and bare patches are replicated with extreme accuracy and the result is a textile that has a faded, rustic elegance to it, almost as if it had been taken from the inside of a stately home. Lady Roxana perfectly embodies a shabby chic feel. Rubelli has also created a smaller scale version of this upholstery-weight print called Violetta, which is of a lighter weight, but is available in the same colourways.

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