As the industry's standard-bearer of excellence, Scalamandre's name has become synonymous with the manufacture of the finest quality fabrics, trims, wallcovering and furnishings in America. Highlights of Scalamandre's rich history are presented in an illustrated timeline.
Franco Scalamandre establishes Scalamandre Silks. The founding of the company coincides with a growing movement in the United States of restoring historic houses and furnishings.
A year of firsts, Scalamandre is contracted to weave seven yards of fabric to match a blue brocatelle acquired for media mogul William Randolph Hearst's stately home. The 'San Simeon Brocatelle' was also the first fabric woven by Mr. Scalamandre at the plant in Long Island City.
From 1936 to the late 1960's, the Scalamandre Museum of Textiles, based in the company's New York showroom, presented exhibits on historical documents and textiles that traveled to museums and schools across the country.
During World War II, Scalamandre converts 80 percent of its production to America's war effort and weaves fabrics for parachutes, linings for combat helmets, camouflage nets, braids for caps, and chevrons for uniforms.
Franco Scalamandre visits Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. With the aid of designer Nancy McClelland, drawings and notes documenting Monticello's original curtains are located and Scalamandre weaves new damask and lampas fabrics for the draperies and bed hangings, a project that continues through the 1950s.
Scalamandre also creates the iconic prancing zebras on deep red wallpaper for the newly opened Gino of Capri restaurant. Based on original artwork by Flora Scalamandre, this playful wallpaper was also immortalized in films such as "Mighty Aphrodite" and "The Royal Tennenbaums" along with making guest appearances across the country via Kate Spade and Barneys New York retail installations.
The 'San Simeon Brocatelle' leads to other commissions for William Randolph Hearst. The 'Cherub Print' was used as slipcovers for the sofas and chairs in the Assembly Room at San Simeon.
A circa 1750 English design found at George Mason's mid-18th century Georgian residence, is the inspiration for the 'Gunston Hall' damask. This reproduction fabric was installed as draperies and upholstery in the master bedroom.
It was during the Kennedy administration that Scalamandre received one of its highest profile commissions for the White House. Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen oversees the redecoration of White House's public staterooms and Scalamandre is engaged to reproduce early 19th century textiles for the Blue Room's drapery and the Red Room's walls, drapery and upholstery. In addition, Sister Parish selects in stock Scalamandre fabrics for the White House's residential interiors. Under every administration since Herbert Hoover, refurbishments during the Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and both Bush administrations also use stock and custom woven textiles from Scalamandre.
'Natchez XVIII Century', a reproduction of an 18th century Italian design, this large-scale lampas with a pineapple was produced for Stanton Hall, a palatial mansion constructed in the 1850s, in Natchez, Mississippi.
The restoration of Vizcaya, the Miami, Florida residence of industrialist James Deering, featured the largest pattern ever recreated by Scalamandre. The original fabric was an 18th century French silk brocaded lampas owned by Marie Antoinette. Scalamandre reproduced the 'Palm Tree Panels at Vizcaya' as a donation to the museum. The project took over two years to complete.
Based on a 19th century fabric found in the childhood Lexington, Kentucky home of Mary Todd Lincoln, the reproduction fabric in red silk was installed in the dining and sitting rooms as drapery and upholstery.
Scalamandre based this historic representation of a late 18th century Tree of Life pattern on an original hand-blocked Palampore bedcover from Cliveden, an elegant country home built in 1763-67 by Benjamin Chew on the outskirts of Philadelphia.
Scalamandre collaborated with Cesar Pelli and Associates on the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan. The 'Barton Tulip', originally reproduced by Scalamandre as a wallpaper for the Barton House property in Texas, became the inspiration of a new brocatelle wallcovering for Tower B. Scalamandre and Cesar Pelli and Associates together created three other fabric wallcovering the for the other towers as well.
Franco Scalamandre dies. A leader in the manufacture of fine fabric, wallcovering and trim, more than 1,000 historical restorations bear his name, among them: The White House, the U.S. Capitol, Mt. Vernon, the Morgan Library, the Wrightsman Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Mansions of Newport.
Scalamandre's second commission for the Metropolitan Opera House was inspired by the architectural designs flanking the stage. A bold silk and linen brocatelle was woven for the curtains and hand-woven bullion fringe that was applied to the curtain panels was the largest of its kind ever produced at Scalamandre.
The Preservation Society of Newport County provided Scalamadre the opportunity to reproduce a 17th century damask from Marble House, Richard Morris Hunt's home for the William K. Vanderbilts. Scalamandre has produced several other late 19th and early 20th century fabrics and trim for the Preservation Society.
Scalamandre purchases Boris Kroll Fabrics, a Petterson, New Jersey-based contract textile line. A self-taught hand weaver, Boris Kroll developed new upholstery techniques and founded his company in the 1930's. By the 1980's, the company had come to be considered a leader in combining advanced weaving technology with imaginative patterns and an original, enduring color sensibility.
Targeting the contract and hospitality markets, Scalamandre launches a new line under the name of Scalamandre Contract.
The Scalamandre Home Furniture Collection is introduced. Classically proportioned upholstered sofas, settees, chaises, chairs, ottomans and benches are available in a range of fine finishes and detailing.
Businessman Louis Renzo acquires Scalamandre from the third generation owners. The flagship New York Showroom returns to its elegant townhouse location at 942 Third Avenue. Later in the year, Ciclo Ombre, a lush jacquard velvet in an ethereal gray/iris colorway, wins the Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Award.
Scalamandre opens the new Hollywood, Florida showroom at 2868 Pershing Street. Its Spring 2010 'Memories of a Voyage to India Collection', is introduced and presents a mixture of Indian and Moorish decorative motifs -- from classic Palampores to traditional woodcut designs -- interpreted in striking color combinations on luxurious weaves
Representing a stunning range of inspired designs, two new collections are introduced: 'The Essentials Collection' and 'La Dolce Vita'. Scalamandre also continues to reach new markets and opens a beautiful new showroom in the Houston Design Center at 7026 Old Katy Road, as well as one in Costa Mesa at 3323 Hyland Avenue.