These days, the silk road leads to La Tessitura (2A Viale Roosevelt, Como, Italy; 39-031/321-666), in a 19th-century former fabric mill five minutes from Lake Como. Set up by the savvy Mantero firm (which manufactures silk accessories for Christian Lacroix, Pucci, Trussardi, et al.), the 9,600-square-foot shop is filled to the brim with shimmering one-of-a-kind totes, slippers, ties, scarves, cushions, and bedcovers—all fashioned from luxurious remnants. Among the most popular products are rugs knitted with leftover fringes cut from weaving machines, espadrilles cobbled from cast-off tie fabrics, and cushions made out of scarves. Best are the Enigma quilts: padded, brightly-colored silk squares ($20 each) are sold individually, to be assembled into do-it-yourself designs. The patches are tied together with ribbons, so you don't even have to lift a needle.
—Valerie Waterhouse