SLEE gallery is extremely excited to host the launch of an amazing cashmere fashion label ’NAT’, the brainchild of Natalie de Villiers.
Natalie studied Textile Technology and -Management in Germany and holds a bachelor’s degree in Textile Engineering. Her specific interest and expertise concerns cashmere yarns and garments.
Natalie’s first internship in 2006 was with a small cashmere firm in New York. From there she made a jump to Hugo Boss, for whom she worked for several years in her field, first in Switzerland and then in China. Later, she moved on to work for Calvin Klein Europe, in Amsterdam.
This first solo collection of Natalie’s was created with 2 ply, 100% ultrafine cashmere yarn, 2 ply, 70% ultrafine cashmere and 30% silk yarn, 100% ultrafine merino yarn and a fine silk/linen blended yarn.
The cashmere is sourced from Inner Mongolia, where the Capra Hircus Laninger goats live. Because of the extreme temperatures and hostile environment these resilient animals grow an extremely soft and fine undercoat which is harvested during their natural moulting season.
Every year in springtime the goats are combed by the nomads to gently remove the highly valuable hair growing underneath their fur. The fibres are then carefully selected by hand, according to their fineness, length and colour, and is then gently washed. The yield is very low, on average a 100 to 150 grams can be combed from each goat, which explains why pure cashmere is so precious and sought after.
The yarns are then spun and dyed in Italy at one of the most prestigious spinning mills in the world, a third generation family enterprise.
Natalie sources and selects the yarns herself, and the knitting of all the items is done at a small family run workshop in the heart of Umbria. The excellence of this workshop lies in the superfine quality of a complex 18 gauge knitting technique and most importantly, in the hand finishing of each of these fine garments.
The NAT brand is all about creating timeless, natural fibre garments, and supporting exceptional craftsmanship, moving away from large scale factory production. It is a beautiful, sustainable, ‘slow’ fashion brand, which we are very proud to endorse.