Focus On

Unical’s Smafinec project in NYC

Unical’s Smafinec project, aimed at developing the broom flower supply chain, was presented in New York at the headquarters of the most prestigious design school in the United States.

The round table on the theme “When creativity means sustainability. Research in textiles” was organized by the international magazine Arte Morbida as part of an important event organized in New York City from November 3 to 12, “Follow the thread”.

Representatives from academic institutions in Italy and the United States discussed their research programs in textiles and sustainability.

Prof. Amerigo Beneduci

Among the projects presented, in addition to those of the Parson School of Design, the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna, the University of Florence and other organizations, there is also the Smafinec project of the University of Calabria. It  aimed at the development of the broom flower supply chain and was presented by the coordinator prof. Amerigo Beneduci, of the Department of Chemistry at Unical.

The project was started in 1999 by the Mountain Community of the Middle Tyrrhenian and Pollino as part of the Investire nella Riviera dei Cedri project, after the activation of a relationship with the Fiat Research Center which proposed it.

Smafinec is the third project financed by the Region of Calabria during the period 2018-2020.

As part of the project, prototypes of broom fabrics, clothes and furnishings were created.

Partners of the project are the companies Sirianni (Lead Partner) and Sunfil and the Tebaid university consortium, chaired by prof. Chidichimo, who was coordinator of the first two research projects and is now professor emeritus.

With broom fibers extracted with a pilot plant developed by Unical, yarns were created by the Marzotto Group’s National Linificio, while the fabrics were created by the Sironi company.

Two dresses in broom fabric were made as part of the Smafinec project by the Calabrian designer Flavia Amato in 2020. After the conclusion of the project, the residual fabrics were requested by the designer Eleonora Riccio, who in 2022 created a dress in broom and silk , worn at the Venice film festival by Elisa Egger. 

In September 2022 the designer Pasly Art design created broom jewels with materials made available by Unical, presented during the Milan fashion week in September 2022.

Since the conclusion of the project, various articles have been published by local and national newspapers and reports have been broadcast on Geo&Geo, Repubblica TV, Linea Verde.

Having followed the project from day one, first as a consultant to the Mountain Community and then to Unical, I hope that there will now be further developments.