When Tomas Maier, the creative director of Bottega Veneta, was scheduled to appear on the show in early October, I was quite thrilled to say the least. When it came to my attention that he would not only be showcasing a selection of Bottega handbags, but would also be accompanied by the actual Italian craftsmen who make the bags, I was overzealous. The brand secrets exposed?! I was extremely intrigued and made it my goal to learn a new technique from these fine artisans.
I went to the rehearsal of the segments in the morning before the show. I was "purse paparazzi" that A.M.—focusing in on the minute details of the handbags on our set. Tomas talked about the intrecciato style of weaving, a technique the Bottega artisans study for three years before they become official Bottega craftsmen. Two intrecciato weaving techniques were shown. Tomas showed how two full pieces of leather, in the shape of the final bag, are machine cut with a pattern of tiny slits. Through the slits, thin strips of leather are hand woven. The technique is used to make the Veneta style handbag.
The artisans demonstrated the double sided leather weaving technique on bag forms in 3 stages. It was apparent that these women were experts . This technique truly needs training! The unreal Ebano Cabat bag is made with this technique. A wearable piece of art...
I learned that trying to recreate one of these bags would be an almost impossible endeavor, but having always been enthralled with this brand, my fingers were itching to attempt intrecciato. My results weren't perfect and on top of weaving leather for the first time, I had to also teach myself how to install my first zipper. I am very excited though, to now have my very own handmade Bottega Veneta (pronounced BO-teg-a VEN-eta) inspired coin purse!