Originally Posted by mafoofan
Up until a few years ago, I'd never heard of Rubinelli. Now they seem to come up in every shirting discussion. How do they compare to Bonfanti?
I have yet to hear from anyone else who has regularly worn their Riva shirts for more than a few years. Since mine were made at different times from different production runs, I doubt there was something wrong with the shirtings I happened to receive. It just seems like intrinsically fragile stuff. I am not willing to spend several hundred euros on a shirt that cannot get more than 20 wears without looking terribly frayed.
Does anyone else have extensive experience with Riva's competitors? A handful of wash cycles doesn't tell anything.
I personally knew Grandi & Rubinelli for a long time but had always to buy it from a shirtmaker and only therefore commissioned few things as it is cheaper for me to do CMT and buying shirting on sale. Only relatively recently I came across a shop that buy some of their offering in rolls, and I bought their superfine 100% linen for example that to me have no competition around. I have always been shown their book by reputable shirtmakers (both in Naples and Rome) and never heard any comments that were not absolutely favourable. They used to supply Borrelli when they were based in San Sebastiano al Vesuvio (before the move to Nocera (SA) that was the beginning of the end for the original company) and were perhaps used in the infamous Royal Line. They make a lot of 200/2 stuff, in a more industrial scale then Bonfanti (max 170/2) even though they are still family own and relatively small, but have a good offering at other levels. 170/2 vs 170/2 G&R gave me the impression of a slightly better hand.
My poplins and voile from Riva have always lasted a long time. One wear and wash cycle, Marsile hand soap directly on collar, cuffs and underarms (some time a touch of vinegar there as well), then delicate wash cycle with normal P&G detergent. The oldest Riva I can remember of was from 2000 circa, with a Navy pinstripe pattern, and remember getting rid of it 4-5 years later because the navy pinstripes had slightly faded in some parts but not for fraying. My current Rivas have seen well over 20 washes and still no sign of fraying or discoloration, but I have only poplins and voile, no twills or herringbones, and also are part of a 40 plus collection that include shirting from many other makers. To be honest, the twill and herringbones I have and have had in my collection from any makers and even at lower TC are the quickest to show signs of wear around the collar and cuffs folds, and the only one that has done better is a vintage Thomas Mason royal twill that was most probably from pre Albini purchase and had yellowed in the external roll fold in the merchant shop.