Made In Italy

Italian design has always been acclaimed for its aesthetics and craftsmanship that has been passed down, refined and perfected through generations. Italian-made furniture is so treasured and unique because it marries cutting-edge design and traditional artisan technique, resulting in an aesthetic that is representative of the Italian lifestyle. Italian design sets a mood and evokes a feeling; it heeds particular attention to detail, proportion, color and comfort.

For a consumer, the “Made in Italy” label has always held the promise of a certain standard of product, while for a manufacturer, it serves as an important economic resource. We found out firsthand what “Made in Italy” means when we visited Porro’s factory in the region of Brianza, just north of Milan. Brianza has a long and rich history of industry, design and craftsmanship, often referred to as the birthplace of quality Italian furniture. Today, it houses the production facilities of many leading Italian furniture manufacturers.

Porro’s factory, found in the small town of Montesolaro, creates its furniture by blending craftsmanship and tradition with innovation and technology. In keeping with the aesthetics of their furnishings, the design of Porro’s factory is minimal. It is very eco-friendly, with efficient recycling, solar panels and a design that takes full advantage of natural light, allowing its 120-some workers to see what they’re making and giving them a realistic view of their materials and colors.

Porro’s attention to detail, its use of technologically advanced machines and its ability to customize its production to suit a client’s needs truly set Porro apart from its competitors. Take, for example, its lacquering process. After a machine precisely cuts a panel, ensuring perfectly parallel and perpendicular sides, layers of lacquer are applied to create a hard, durable finish. This creates depth, which gives a luster to the material and allows it to withstand scratching and wear. Once dried, the panels are finished in a controlled environment, where a wall of water captures and eliminates dust from the air, preventing it from getting into the lacquer or veneer of a freshly coated panel. The craftsmen then carefully go over each piece, removing any excess particles with a needle.

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We also visited the factories of Baxter and Living Divani in Brianza – see more of our adventures below.

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Next: Milan: The International Capital of Design