Would you like to know a bit more about Mr Aurifil, aka Alex Veronelli?  Well here’s your chance.  We are posting this interview to celebrate the fact Aurifil are going to be one of the main sponsors of the Fat Quarterly London Sewing Retreat this June.  Grazie Alex!

Can you tell us how you became involved with the makers of my favourite threads, Aurifil.

Well many people do not yet know this but actually the company was started by my father and his partner, Signor in Gregotti in the town of Saronno, just north of Milan, in Italy in 1983.  For many years we made thread only for the fashion industry until one day we realised that quilters also like to use the best quality threads and so we decided to share our wonderful threads with you too.

Where does the cotton and wool come from?
The raw cotton is from Egypt where the weather conditions and the rich soil enabled the production of a better cotton. The term “Egyptian cotton Mako’” is usually applied to the extra long staple cotton produced in Egypt and favoured for the luxury and upmarket brands worldwide. Our Wool comes from Australia from the quality called Merino. Australian Merino is regarded by many as the finest and softest wool produced anywhere. It is a unique fibre, loved by fashion and apparel designers for its quality and versatility. Nothing else feels like it, looks like it, or wears like it.
What are your best sellers and why?
The 50wt cotton, thinnest of my threads is the most popular.  Thinner thread means flatter seams and less bulk when multiple seams come together. It’s strong and doesn’t give off as much lint as others.  Fine thread will emphasize your fabric choices and quilt design.
What trends do you see happening in sewing today and for the future?
Crafters these days are looking to show their stitches more and I think we will see the heavier weight threads beginning to compete with the 50wt in popularity.
Any new products on the horizon?
One thing I would like to look at in the future is the possibility of an Aurifil polyester thread since I know that some quilters love to free motion quilt with polyester.

Are you a quilter?
I am not a quilter but I do love quilts and many hang on my office walls bringing sunshine into my workspace.  So although I don’t quilt, I love to see quilts around me.
How many languages do you speak?
Four. Italian, of course, plus Spanish, French and English, although you must pardon my poor English accent and spelling, even if I write most of the day in English and have many opportunities to use English when traveling! My Spanish is fairly good and my French good enough to get by with, or at least to sell threads with.
Can you tell us a bit about your family?
I am 44 years old, married with 2 kids, 10 and 8 years old.  My family comes from the textile industry on both sides… my mother’s family produced fine Italian bed linens for several generations and my father was one of the founding members of Aurifil in 1983, after working for many years as director of production in different Italian fashion houses. My wife’s family company is also involved in textiles, producing historical clothes and uniforms.

And finally, do you have any news you can leave us with?
In cooperation with Fat Quarterly and Lily’s Quilts, I am going to be launching a competition to see who can design the best set of Aurifil threads.  Details coming soon but get your thinking caps on for what threads you would put into one of my Designer Collection 12 thread boxes.