BIELLA TEXTILE DISTRICT
FROM PAST TO FUTURE
Why is Biella so famous in the textile world?
We have been telling you so far that our roots are based in the North-West of Italy, where the most ancient textile companies are located. The textile district we are referring to is the city of Biella, which is known worldwide for its long lasting history and tradition of making yarns.
The Biella Textile District is built on deep roots of a long wool tradition with 200 years of history.
There is a saying that anytime a stranger comes to Biella, locals touch his jacket to guess of which textile it is made of.
Where does this strange habit come from?
First of all, Biella is a green land based in the foothills of the Alps and surrounded by a great number of watercourses. Its favorable geography is with no doubts its guarantee of well-being, prosperity and fertility.
“Biella, between the mountain and the verdant plains, watches joyfully over the fertile valley, boasting arms, ploughs and busily smoking chimneys”.
Giosuè Carducci / 1890
Moving now to its history, Biella and its surroundings focused on the livestock breeding rather than extensive crop. Over the years, the city has been developing a long expertise in the wool tradition and the Biella textile district is nowadays one of the most important areas, in Italy, where fabrics and yarns are being made.
In the 19th century, with the introduction of the first machinery, artisan production turned into an industry, and the first industrial complexes came to life. Nowadays, Biella’s district counts over 2000 production plants, 28000 employees and exports around 30 % of the total turnover.
One of the most favourable aspect that needs to be considered for the growth of the industrial district, is the resourcefulness of the local inhabitants that allowed the development of a quality textile activity over time, which gradually evolved and specialised from manual techniques until it finally achieved full industrialisation.
NOBLE YARNS AND FIBRES
Moreover, another facet to take into account for the success of the textile area is the strong focus on high quality research and on the usage of noble fibres which has been important from the beginning. In detail, this means that in recent years Biella has specialised on the usage of traditional wool and noble fibers and with this becoming well known all around the word for the quality in making yarns. In fact, by using fine quality raw materials and increasingly sophisticated machinery, fabrics originating from Biella are very popular around the world. The Zegna Group, Miroglio Vestebene, Loro Piana together with Borsalino and Conbipel are just a few big names in the fashion industry that originate from Biella.
Considering the specialised products of the district, they include yarns and fabrics of the highest quality, made using mainly Australian superfine wools and other special materials and other precious fibres (such as cashmere, camel hair, alpaca, vicuña and mohair). As well as worsted and carded yarns used for weaving and knitwear, the district also specialized in cotton, polyester, acrylic and nylon.
Biella is the only region in Europe that preserves the entire textile production chain to stay intact and viable, from treatment of the unwashed fibres to the finished garment. Technological research, the use of IT services, advanced mechanical and electronic design tools, the use of sophisticated and robotized machine tools have allowed the creation of high quality, high yield products and guaranteeing reliability and durability.
To this day, the Biella Handloom and power loom companies have continued to maintain the high quality of their production, extending it to total quality, involving technological research and creativity, and customer service. This commitment has enabled Biella to become a synonym for high technology of machinery and excellent product quality throughout the textile world. These features decidedly contributed positively to the image of high quality products from Italy around the world.