Italian furniture company Natuzzi and Dutch textile specialist ByBorre have launched a new line of upholstery fabrics with a sustainable spin.

Pasquale Natuzzi Junior and Borre Akkersdijk met in Milan in 2019, and immediately became good friends. ‘This is how I usually develop my collaborations,’ says Natuzzi. ‘We started to interact, share visions and opinions, brainstorm and dream together, and we finally developed the “Water” textile collection.’

Akkersdjik, who studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and then the Design Academy Eindhoven, founded textile innovation company ByBorre in 2010. He produces a range of sportswear, clothing and accessories, often from futuristic and innovative textiles, and has collaborated with the automotive and luxury industries. 

Natuzzi Editions sofa upholstery

Natuzzi has dedicated himself to the family furniture operation, most recently expanding its creative reach through designer collaborations. As the company’s chief creative and marketing officer, he has overseen projects with Fabio Novembre and Marcel Wanders, among others. This new collaboration marks a departure for the Natuzzi brand. Known for its leather upholstery: a collection of textiles feels somewhat disruptive. ‘Leather is one of the most important coverings for Natuzzi, and in a way it symbolizes our tradition and our DNA; on the other hand I believe there is a way to integrate tradition and innovation,’ he explains.

The collection is inspired by the Mediterranean sea: for Natuzzi, it was important to show Akkersdijk and his team Puglia where the company originated. ‘We travelled a lot throughout the region to discover the nature, the landscape and the architecture, so they could breathe the same air which inspires us,’ explains Natuzzi. The collection developed organically: ‘we took some 3D shots of the sky and of the sea bed in black and white. From there we started developing a graphic pattern, which is what you see on the fabric.’ 

Natuzzi Editions sofa upholstery

The collection’s textures mimic the movement of the waves, created through a combination of traditional knitting techniques and new technologies, using a yarn that mixes high quality wool and recycled PES to create what Akkersdijk calls a textile ‘landscape’. The tactile fabrics are available in five colours (olive green, orange, blue, anthracite and light blue), and will be initially presented on three new pieces designed by Paola Navone, Marcantonio and Mauro Lipparini. An important aspect for Natuzzi was the material’s durability: ‘Borre said to me, “this fabric will be even better in 10 years’ time” which, ironically, is what happens with leather.’

The ‘Water’ collection is the first step towards what Natuzzi hopes is a long-term collaboration, integrating tradition and innovation through creative cross-pollination. §