2019 Coats & Jackets Knitwear

Casentino: The Fantastical Florentine Fleece

By Alfred Tong

Jul 13, 2022

Casentino: The Fantastical Florentine Fleece

The House of Savoy! The Medici Family! Franciscan Monks! Let’s take a trip into the wonderful world of Casentino.

Casentino, that lovely, deliberately bobbly wool fabric from which our gilets and fleeces have been made, has a backstory seemingly precision tooled for search engine optimized nerdery. It was invented in Florence, in the 15th Century, when no less than the Medici family gave the Florentine guild of wool makers the challenge of producing a cloth that could protect friars and the friary. The result? Hardwearing casentino. Franciscan monks have never flexed harder than in A/W 1500. How about that for some OG #sprezzatura? Baldassare Castiglione eat your heart out. 

Of course, that’s not the only reason why we chose this handsome cloth. Casentino is that rare thing: a stout, hardwearing Italian cloth, made not with softness but toughness in mind. Traditionally used by Italians for unstructured overcoats, the bobbly texture of casentino adds an interesting and unusual note to a gilet or jumper.  The bright orange colour synonymous with casentino comes from when the cloth was used by nobleman from the House of Savoy, rulers of Italy towards the end of the 19th Century, to keep their horses warm.

Think of them as a posher, more luxurious version of the ubiquitous fleece vests you see around town. Made from 100% wool somewhere nice in Italy, they’re as ethically sound as rival vests and happily avoid the whiff of CE-Bro tech entrepreneur/ evil banker, something which the vest has acquired of late. 


Drake's Casentino

Our casentino jumpers and gilets let you flex like a fin-tech Master of the Universe, without actually looking like one. They come in handy as a mid-layer underneath an overcoat when it gets really cold. The gilet has been designed so that it can be buttoned into our Winter Stable Jacket. Both are good as a top layer during changeable autumnal weather. Or any time you want to channel your inner Franciscan monk. Amen to that.

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