Bow Ties Sydney, Australia - Le Noeud Papillon - Specialists In Self Tying Bow Ties

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Carlo Riva Styled Magnifying Glass, A Traditional Accoutrement For The Man In Cloth

The truth is that you can buy a magnifying glass from any Office Depot or Officeworks (Australian) that will do the same job as the little number below. However, you wouldn't be as cool as a northern Italian in the textiles industry. That's because they run around with these little numbers below that collapse and fold neatly into your pocket or wallet. The magnifying glass also has a grid to show 1 square centimetre of fabric. 

If ever you purchase a bolt of Carlo Riva shirting cotton you will note that on one side is the logo of Carlo Riva and on the other is this small magnifying glass on a piece of cloth. My assumption is that the magnifying glass is there to reiterate the point that it comes down to the finest of details that constitutes how a cloth looks and feels.

My first and only one of these magnifying glasses was given to me by an Italian woven jacquard silk specialist in 2010. I oscillate between it, a regular magnifying glass and a lamp lit glass attached to a desk to look at silk and study the weaves but the best of the bunch remains the little number below and my guess is that's why Carlo Riva has it on all their branding. 

Do you know what the name of it is in Italian? If yes, leave a comment below.


  1. Not sure the Italian name but I've always known it as a simple "loupe". My father was in the lithography business and always carried one in his pocket as a tool of the trade.

  2. The Italian name is "contafili" (literally: thread counter) and comes from the textile industry. In the past it was used to count the threads in a fabric.