courtesy Paola Lenti

| Designbest editorial staff

I

t’s called Rope and it is a “technical yarn”, i.e., the thread which is double knotted to the history of Paolo Lenti. Rope is a synthetic technical yarn made for the outdoors, the first of its kind, and Paola Lenti, the indoor and outdoor designer brand, is a company which has developed its production based on the resistance and duration of this yarn.

100% recyclable, waterproof, and resistant to UV rays, molds and bacteria, despite being invented twenty years ago, this material has not aged a day, nor has it been superseded. On the contrary, research and experimentation starting in 2002 have improved its performance and quality, guaranteeing extraordinary performance in terms of functionality, maintenance and durability even, and especially, in severe weather conditions. While observing and touching it, it appears to be a natural textile yarn which is pleasing to touch, flexible, and soft, but is extraordinarily resistant. Solution dyed, it is available in over 50 colors and countless tones, never fades and doesn’t wilt in the sun or rain, always maintaining its brightness.

Thanks to its versatility, Rope has allowed for the creation of constantly new techniques, creating chair and carpet materials for the outdoors or even molding genuine load-bearing structures for sofas, sunbeds and armchairs. All you need to do is flip through the companies catalog to understand that Rope is Paola Lenti’s trademark innovation: consider the Shell pouf, the first handwoven pieces with Rope in 2002, the iconic Frame armchairs created in 2005, the Zoe carpet with its hypnotic spiral textile structure from 2008, or even more recent ones like the Telar collection from 2019 with its elastic strap structure, and the Harbour modular sofa from 2021.

Paola Lenti, while looking for an innovative outdoor material in the early 2000s, had an intuition when she found a sample of a technical textile in her hands which came from an Asian supplier—a fabric with the warp and weft of the same dimension. This brought about the desire to produce a round thread which was similar to a boat rope and resistant to water and UV rays. The research focused on polypropylene, an unrefined but light and waterproof fiber: ideal for the outdoors, but which had yet to be tested. Driven and passionate, Paola Lenti threw herself into constant research, working with shoelace producers, weavers and even automotive experts. From her personal studies on polypropylene, she refined it with University of Torino’s Chemistry Department until it became the “perfect” material. The rest is history. The history that weaves Rope and Paola Lenti together.

 

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