Dior Used an Extremely Rare Technique Dating Back to the 15 Century to Create This Delicate Detail

Samantha Sutton

Sure, the usual crowd of celebrities and editors weren't in attendance, and plenty of safety precautions were put in place ahead of Dior's Cruise 2021 show. But once the fashion house's livestream showed models hitting the runway at the at the Piazza del Duomo in Puglia, Italy, one thing was clear: the designs were as stunning as always.

Although there were plenty of printed, fringed dresses, leather corsets, and kerchiefs to be seen — the combination of which gave off a bohemian, cottagecore, and slightly medieval vibe — the details definitely deserve a closer look. Dior is committed to working with local artisans in Puglia, and that includes (but isn't limited to) tapping them for embroidery.

In this collection, for example, butterfly embellishments were made using Tombolo-style embroidery. Tombolo lace, which dates back to the 15th century, is created using a special, extremely meticulous technique, and is an important part of the region's heritage.

Dior shared a closer look at this process, ahead, along with a few facts.

Here's a closer look at the Tombolo lace embroidery. Dior worked with local artisans from the Puglian region to create these details.

What sets this lace apart is how delicate and rare it is.

According to the brand, Tombolo lace is in danger of disappearing, and is "made by hand using painstakingly meticulous gestures that are preciously passed down from generation to generation."

First, the motif is drawn on paper, then recreated with stitches, using wooden bobbins to twist the thread.

The creation of the flowers and butterflies alone required 15 hours of work.

Dior collaborated on these embellishments with Marilena Sparasci, who happens to be one of the last remaining embroiderers to practice and teach this technique.

A video shows a more in-depth look at this fascinating process — just in case you're looking for a new hobby to take up in quarantine.

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