The Value of Hand-made: Saman Amel

Saman Amel Ties

Our good friends at Saman Amel Ties caught up with us in Florence this past January. During our conversation, we started talking about the beauty and importance of hand made things. The lost art of producing with the very tools you were given rather than solely relying on machinery to do the work.

Here is what they had to say about how they do things. Our Online Editor described the whole lot as “…tedious, difficult, time-consuming, and, in certain instances, overwhelming. But it’s also undeniably worth it.”

The Process

“All of our ties are crafted from master patterns created by Saman Amel. After having cut out the fabric, the pieces are sewn together and the outer most part of the tie is rolled – all by hand. Rolling the edges of the tie by hand is time consuming, however, when closely comparing the product to a machine made version, the difference is evident. The main part of our ties are in a six folded construction. This means that no lining is being used to create stability in the product. Instead, the fabric is carefully folded six times. The tie is nothing but shell fabric and thread. After folding the tie, the edges are sewn together and a bar tack is placed on the lower back of the tie. The placement of the bar tack enables you to lift unfold the lower part of the tie in order to examine the construction. Every tie takes up to three hours to make.”

The Product

“We work exclusively with natural materials and we only use silk thread. We have a close relationship with our suppliers and we hand pick our fabrics based on the hand feel of it, not necessarily the name attached to the mill. We have seen too many examples of companies trying to hide a bad product behind an exclusive fabric supplier. We want to avoid that. In our AW13 collection, we had some heavier wool from Loro Piana. Really beautiful fabrics! We were discussing whether or not we should communicate that to our customers but we figured to let the hand feel of the product speak for itself. We have a great respect for our customers and we rely on their judgment; if a customer is unhappy with our product, then I am sure we would be hearing about it in no time. So far, we haven’t had any complaints. I guess we are doing okay.”

The Purpose

“There are numerous reasons for us doing what we are doing, however, I think that our main motive force is the interest in handicraft and slow production. Both myself and Dag are motivated by the idea of helping the product reach its fullest potential. We refuse to compromise on anything. Our margins are quite bad, the production process is long and we have to work very hard in order to keep the company afloat, but we have a product that we do not have to excuse in any way – that is something we take great pride in! That, I think, is why we do things the way we do: because we want to take the product to its fullest potential.”

The People

“I have always had a great interest in menswear. I studied on a high school with focus on textile and I got several internships on major brands based in Stockholm, this was when I was still only 16-17 years old. This shaped me to a great extent and I think I got a healthy picture of what it is like working in the fashion industry; it is hard work, not a dance on roses.

Dag and I have been friends since our early teens, but it was during our time together at the head office of a Stockholm-based fashion house that we started forming the ideas that would lead up to the brand and aesthetic of Saman Amel. We send each other pictures and articles of things we like all the time and we can sit for hours discussing the nature of a shoe or a blazer.

More and more, I have come to realize how social the interest around menswear really is. During our visits to Florence and the Pitti Uomo fair, I have met so many people from all over the world who share similar interests and it is almost ridiculous how fast you make new friends down there. People are so willing to share their ideas and passions! My experience of menswear has been a social one. I like that.”

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Neil Watson

Editor At Large