Orbacè, footwear design

Orbacè, footwear design

May 2015


neo~local design


Orbacè: footwear design for orbace – a wool-based traditional material – aimed at rediscovering the good in local tradition. Looking for a new way to beauty, while re-thinking on an almost forgotten material.



Orbacè, by Noemi Caria, is a project about re-discovering a particular kind of wool by-product – orbace – that belongs to the Sardinian tradition of fabric. Originally meant for the production of saddle bags and shoes, and almost forgotten, orbace, with its many qualities, is still suitable for producing things.

The project moves from a deep curiosity in dying with traditional techniques and natural colors, and in revealing qualities hidden by the standards of modern industrial production. The Orbacè shoes are thought around natural materials: wool, leather that is tanned via vegetable-based processes and natural rubber, the best materials for a relationship with the body which is not only right, but sustainable in many ways.

Details are made of reused parts from old clothing, as traces of other past things, capable of transferring stories into the present object.
Just like characters or personae, the Orbacè shoes include the user into an active dialogue with the designer – a designer that is also craftsman and researcher, and aims at activating a cooperation process with local artisans.




Marco Sironi

Designer and scholar at DADU


(Graphic) designer and scholar, focused on the idea of place, his background combines design skills and practice in literature. In Milan he has taught visual identity and basic design for graphics; collaborates with our Department (teaching Graphic and Product Design) since the beginning of the Design in Alghero venture.