Craft / September 2017

Omega Srl: A Hands-On Approach

Omega Srl utilises a knowledge of raw materials, tanning and craft processes to produce high-quality, comfortable gloves that don’t look out of place behind the wheel of a Jaguar E-Type.

Family-owned Omega Srl has been producing gloves since the 19th century. Above photograph by Jamie Ferguson.

Every Omega Srl glove is touched by 25 different pairs of hands – each bringing their own set of skills to the final product. Among other steps, there’s one person who moisturises the leather; one who cuts the forks; one who checks the seams; and one who carefully irons the finished glove. No matter how simple the end result may look, the journey is as complex as any other artisanal craft.

Omega Srl’s history is comparatively storied, too. The brand was founded in Naples, where glovemaking was once considered the city’s most flourishing sector, employing roughly 6800 people and housing its own tanning district. Pasquale Squillace started the small artisanal glove workshop in La Sanita, a working-class area of Naples, around the middle of the 1800s, creating pieces that tapped into the expertise of the city. It wasn’t until his son Gennaro took over at the turn of the century, however, that Omega Srl truly flourished, increasing the brand’s production to 300,000 pairs of gloves each year and turning it into a major export of Naples.

The company is most well-known now for its high quality, rather than sheer quantity, which is thanks to the third-generation glove maker of the Squillace family. On taking the reins in 1955, Alberto utilised his thorough knowledge of raw materials and set about increasing the quality of the gloves, focussing on the tanning and craft processes. This was echoed by his son Mauro, who took over in 1963 and further trumpeted the business as a brand, turning it from a mere supplier into a name in its own right.

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