The Rake

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‘Summertime Move’ from Loro Piana’s Volare collection

Techno-textiles, techtextiles, technical fabrics — call them what you want, but fabrics based on scientific ingenuity are very much a thing (in the sense of that word that’s now a thing). They’ve actually been around for decades (in the form of Neoprene and Gore-Tex, for starters), but with the luxury players wading into the mix, they’re becoming exponentially more inventive, more innovative and more luxurious. Now they range from the eco-minded (see garments made from discarded wetsuits and recovered ocean plastic) to the ingeniously zany (see Techsuede — a Japanese fabric knitted from microfibres and then shrunk so as to be dense, waterproof but breathable — and raincoats by Norwegian Rain, which effectively have membrane-thin irrigation systems built into them).

But there’s a separate and more sober realm of technical fabrics in which textiles are found that visually resemble the ones we’ve all been fond of for years but that

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