Our factory has its roots in the heart of the Valtellina region. An unusual factory inspired by the ancient local textile culture, based on the processing of linen, hemp and wool.
The story began back in August 1895, in Sondrio, a small town in the heart of the Italian Alps. Here Emilio Spelty and his son, together with Giovanni Keller, established a new company. These two Swiss families understood the value of the local area and decided to build a factory to produce cotton yarns. Thus Spelty, Keller & C.o. was founded.
Over the next two years, they set up the first Alpine factory and, in 1897, they deposited their first trademark, which is now preserved in the Central Archives of the State. A lithographed label depicting “a chamois facing right with a graceful look” adorned with “mountain peaks”, as described in the certificate of the ancient Kingdom of Italy.
THE FOSSATI FAMILY
The Spelty father and son and Keller soon left the valley and sold the factory to the most powerful Italian textile family: the Fossati. The lords of Monza had understood the value of this land. The reins of the factory were passed to Italian hands and Alberto and his son Felice, at the dawn of the 20th century, took it to a new industrial level.
MASSAUA BLEU 10 SANFOR
The Fossati soon enjoyed great success. As the country recovered from the Great War, the factory specialized in the production of yarns for the famous MASSAUA BLEU 10 SANFOR, the quintessential uniform fabric. Once perfected, it was patented and became the factory’s symbol; the standard for the production of excellent work clothes.
The Fossati’s entrepreneurial vision led to new economic success. At the end of the Second World War, they restarted and expanded production with the construction of the Via Tonale factory. In 1951 the factory was so large that it employed half of the local manufacturing workforce.
The ’60s was a crucial period. The Fossati family made a strategic decision to complete the manufacturing process by producing garments at the Manifattura dell’Adda factory. Located in Berbenno, Valtellina, just a few kilometres from Sondrio, clothing was manufactured here that largely consisted of work uniforms.
TESCON, LANEROSSI AND ENI
In 1975, Fossati was incorporated into the Italian state’s companies. During this period it passed from one group to another, first becoming Tescon, then part of Lanerossi (which belonged to the Eni group at the time) and then Cotoni di Sondrio. This left a deep wound in the area and in the people who were engulfed by complex and distant systems.
THE MARZOTTO GROUP
Carefully considering the special nature of the Italian market, the Marzotto Group saw great potential in its competitor Lanerossi. The brand also included Cotoni di Sondrio, which did not deal with wool, but cotton. With the acquisition of Lanerossi, and therefore of Sondrio, the Valdagno group expanded its product range.
TESSUTI DI SONDRIO WORLDWIDE
The Venetian giant restructured the factory starting from the name which, at the end of the 20th century, became what the whole world knows today: Tessuti di Sondrio. It heavily invested in weaving and finishing that made it more competitive. This period was a new dawn that left an indelible mark on Tessuti di Sondrio’s success, from the ateliers of Paris to the studios of New York and Tokyo.
DALSASSO ARCHIVES SINCE 1831
At the dawn of the new millennium the famous Sondrio collections became even more impressive with the introduction of the Dalsasso Archives. This rich, precious wool archive based in Trentino was founded back in 1831. It was no longer a question of seeing a collection of fabrics, but of appreciating a lifestyle based on invaluable knowledge and tradition.
NOW MUCH MORE THAN JUST A FABRIC
Tessuti di Sondrio’s mission is to create superior products that are the result of craftsmanship and the uniqueness of the local area. This mission can only be achieved through pure creativity capable of recognizing and interpreting the society and time in which we live. It is not about buying cheap fabrics – far from it. The ability to make fabrics well is something tangible. You can appreciate the design concept behind a product range influenced by the most diverse fields: art, technology, travel and, above all, people.