Italian Spinners Look Up and Outside for Growth

Headed into Pitti Filati fair, yarn firms go upscale and seek exports.

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MILAN — Despite the economic downturn, Italian spinners are not cutting back on their product offerings to be shown at the Pitti Filati yarn fair, and will present expansive color ranges and higher-quality materials.

Pitti Filati will be showcasing fall-winter 2013 yarns at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence from July 4 to 6. For this 71st edition of Pitti Filati, the fair will be accessible online on e-pitti.com for a month starting from the closing date of the fair. Buyers will be able to review collections and pass orders with e-pitti.com vendors.


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Growth is expected to come from emerging markets such as China, which is seeking increasingly top-quality yarns, and from Japan, where Pitti Filati online will be made available in Japanese.

Some Italian spinners have decided to streamline and clarify their offerings. Filatura e Tessitura di Tollegno has divided its main line into two — Lana Gatto 1900 to be considered as “classic,” which includes merinos in various thread counts, and Tollegno 1900, made of the finest yarns, including pure cashmere products.

Alfredo Botto Poala, president of Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia, said the company is moving more toward the high end of the market, while consolidating its established Cashwool range.

“Our yarns are mainly used to manufacture high-end final products distributed by international brands,” said Botto Poala.

Mills such as Zegna Baruffa, with its Cashmere Glitter collection, have experimented with special finishes to illuminate organic fibers.

As for pricing strategies, Zegna Baruffa relies on past experience.

“We carefully monitor the market, we take advantage of our experience in buying raw materials and we have not really changed how and when we buy,” said Botto Poala.

Stefania Bernardi, area manager at Filatura e Tessitura di Tollegno, said, “We buy the raw material almost every day. In this way, we always manage to have average prices during the season.”

At Cariaggi Lanificio, price variations are avoided because of a medium-term acquisition policy based on a joint venture agreement in China.

Cariaggi board member Cristiana Cariaggi said, “We don’t consider the price increase of raw materials to be completely negative. We believe that today cashmere is priced appropriately for its preciousness.”

Zegna Baruffa will present a new product called Brandnew Wool, a highly technological yarn in Super 120s wool. The wool is processed in a special way that boosts some of its specific properties that creates a yarn geared toward comfortable outdoor knitwear.

Cariaggi Lanificio took inspirations from architecture and came up with a vast color palette composed of lacquer reds, delicate pastels and cool graduations of blues, as well as rich thread combinations with suggestive names such as Boucle Bicolore, Nuage or Cashmere Twist.

Some producers will remind visitors of their green commitment. Cariaggi Lanificio will push its Systema Naturae line made of yarns that went through a slow dyeing process using natural medicinal herbs. It will also present Guado, a traditional pigment that has been used by craftsmen of the Pesaro-Urbino Italian province since the 14th century.

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