We've just received our first two pontes - Rome and Venice. Rome is a heavy weight viscose rich fabric and Venice is slightly lighter, although still a substantial fabric. Both contain elastane which helps the fabric stretch, but more importantly spring back and recover so they're both great for fitted garments.
These fabrics are a long way from my first encounter with Ponte de Roma in the eighties. I was a new textile technology graduate working for a famous fabric manufacturer and one of our key products was Ponte de Roma. It was knitted from coloured acrylic yarn and we did a whole range of colours but the bright pink is etched on my memory.
I was in the Quality Assurance Department and the fabric in question was being made into ladies suits for M&S by our customers, garment manufacturers. This particular fabric had a problem with holes, which hadn't been spotted until the garments were made up. I was sent up to the factory in the North East along with one of our fabric inspectors and we spent a long day examining pink garments. The faulty ones were stuffed into my boss's Sierra which we had borrowed for the day - I've never seen so much in one car! We took them back to the factory where our menders made a great job of invisibly mending them.
I'm thankful to say that modern elastane yarns and knitting machines, make today's pontes a different animal from those of my youth!
Today's pontes do vary a lot in quality and price! There's lots can be different - fibre type, thickness of the yarn, amount of twist in the yarn, the size of the knitted stitches, the structure being knitted and how it is finished - yes, there are lots of variations in ponte that can make it a beautiful fabric or a cheap product. We take great care in our selection of our fabrics and of course as I have a soft spot for ponte, we had to choose good ones!
Why not take a look at our Venice and Rome and see what you think.