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The Engineering Guide: Stone Island

The Engineering Guide: Stone Island

An expert guide to the technical design and iconic details of Stone Island.

Exploring the design philosophy and brand history of Stone Island's experimental approach and technically excellent garments with the experts at the brand’s Italian HQ.

Words: Stone Island HQ


The story began almost by accident in 1982, with a study of special two-tone materials, so rigid and dense that they were washed extensively with pumice stones to tame their structure. The result is surprising – a garment that seems worn-in and that’s completely fascinating. Seven down jackets in this unique fabric were created and named Tela Stella. Thus, it was born, the first collection with a strong marine identity that needed an important name. This was chosen by analysing the most recurring words in the novels of Joseph Conrad: Stone and Island. At this point, personalization that was just as strong as the name became necessary, like the badge – a label held on by two buttons showing the Wind Rose and acting as the insignia of a military captain.


A culture of research, experimentation, function and use are the matrixes that have always defined Stone Island. Season after season, it is through the study of form and the manipulation of matter that Stone Island, under the Creative Direction of Carlo Rivetti, has found its own language with the aim of establishing new boundaries in the world of garment making.

Jackets constructed in nylon monofilament derived from water filtering technology. Highly reflective or thermo-sensitive fabrics that change colour with the variation of temperature. Featherweight polyester cloth vacuum-coated with a 100% stainless steel film used in aviation technology to protect the on-board computers. Non-woven materials, Kevlar® and polyester felt, rhomboidal nets in polyester used in the construction industry and coated in polyurethane. These are some examples of materials conceived by the Stone Island philosophy.


Stone Island's strength is also based on its unique ability to intervene on the finished item, through the continuous tests on dyeing and treatments carried out in the Sportswear Company’s laboratory of colour. The department is able to combine advanced technology, experience and human capacity and has developed more than 60,000 different dye recipes throughout the years.


Stone Island is a symbol of extreme research on fibres and textiles applied to an innovative design. The study of uniforms and work wear and their evolution according to new requirements of use has become Stone Island's observation post for defining a project in which the clothing item’s function is never just aesthetic.

An ongoing investigation, thorough and without frontiers, on the processing and ennobling of fibres and textiles has led Stone Island to discover materials and production techniques never used before in the clothing industry.


Ghost pieces are based on the concept of camouflage and are entirely monochromatic: white, blue, black and military green. Even their Stone Island badges have been created in special mono-colour versions to blend with the garment. This concept is interpreted in jackets, sweaters and sweatshirts.

The outerwear in this concept line are in TANK SHIELD FEATURING MULTI LAYER FUSION TECHNOLOGY: a revolutionary process that laminates the performance membrane to the base fabric.


New treatments to the finished garment create a frosted look to outerwear, sweaters, sweatshirts and trousers. Also applied on garments in TELA NYLON DOWN, a lightweight ultra-tight weave nylon tela, padded with the finest down. The treatment gives a unique and unrepeatable aspect to each garment. The addition of a special agent to the process makes the piece anti-drop.


The Stone Island identifying design is applied tone on tone to a series of garments inspired by active sportswear, on natural and man-made fabrics: anoraks and capes in NYLON METAL, long parkas in fabric mixes and garment over-dyed cotton sweatshirts.