Nicol Rubelli is the fifth-generation descendant of Lorenzo Rubelli, who founded high-end Venetian home fabric company Rubelli in 1858. The company director was in Hong Kong recently to launch the brand's latest collection at Altfield Interiors. What do quality fabrics mean to the home? 'The same way that quality clothes make you feel. When you wear cashmere, you feel good and enjoy caressing it. For home fabrics nothing is nicer and more precious than silk. It's beautiful and its feel is extraordinary. But silk is very delicate and you don't want it to be everywhere [in the home]. So we also have what we call 'technical fabrics' - those fabrics made of other materials such as a kind of German fibre, which is very durable and can be washed in water. They're comfortable and make you feel good - like a pair of jeans.' How do traditional weaving techniques play a part in the making of Rubelli's fabrics today? 'When Rubelli first started we used traditional handlooms for making velvet fabrics. At our mill we still have four old looms to produce this kind of fabric. They weave 40cm a day, which is a tiny amount. Most of our products are made with contemporary looms and cutting-edge technology. For example, we have this very shiny, slippery yarn, which is made with a special loom. The market is very competitive. When you get something new into the market, the next day you may find a lot of copies, so we need to keep developing new techniques.' There is a Rubelli archive in Venice. Who should see it and why? 'It's a great source of inspiration. With many textile records, fabrics woven in the 1500s and so on, it mainly attracts designers from all over the world and people who really love beautiful textiles. It's also a great source of inspiration. You can learn the history of the fabrics you've bought or want to buy. For the money you spend, it's fair enough to want to know the story behind the fabrics.'