The Luxury of Italian Wool
Posted on 04 October 2016
As we’ve shared with you in prior posts, we’re excited about the temperatures dropping! We get to reacquaint ourselves with our favorite woolens to keep us cozy in the cold weather. It also means you’ll be seeing less lightweight fabrics and more of thick, luxurious fabrics like our personal favorite, Italian wool. We see Italian wool in many forms, from sweaters and scarves to suits and outerwear. It is a versatile textile often blended with cashmere and silk to make extra soft garments. Wool is also a favorite of the consumer concerned with ethical buying, as the industry makes sheep welfare and sustainable harvesting practices a priority.
Italy is known for luxury- cars, leathers, and high quality cuisine. Its textile industry, wool in particular, is world renowned. It seems like the words “Italian” and “wool” are often heard together. We love Italian wool for many reasons. It is high quality, warm, and soft. It’s also accessible and can be found at different price points at a wide range of stores and boutiques, including NOOR COUTURE professional hijabi suits which are made of this luxurious fabric. What you might not know is that the Italian wool industry has a history that goes back centuries. The craftsmanship and commitment to producing high quality yarns, textiles and clothing is a part of the Italian tradition. While many countries are rushing towards mass production, most Italian brands and textile producers are resolute in upholding the country’s standards of excellence.
Information from the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) reveals the following interesting facts: The oldest official account relating to wool production in Italy dates back to 1313. More than 40% of the world trade in woolen fabrics is represented by Italian products. Overall the value of Italian exports of wool yarns and fabrics is around € 2.7 billion per year. The market also accounts for over 12,000 jobs, concentrated in three major areas dedicated solely to high quality wool manufacturing: Prato, which has the oldest tradition in the field; Vicenza, in Veneto; and Biella, in Piedmont, with the world's largest concentration of industries. Without a doubt, Italy is a dominating force in the market for wool.
A 2012 New York Times piece took a look at notable techniques and the commitment to quality of several Italian brands and fashion houses. Ermenegildo Zegna is one name that stood out as a major player in wool production. The company, which calls the well-known area of Biella home, is recognized for using very long and fine fibers to spin wool for the past 100 years. In order to find the absolute best suppliers in raw material quality, Zegna holds competitions annually to seek them out. Furthermore, the company is firm in producing its yarns and fabrics in house at its own mills. These are the types of standards that have given Italian wool the reputation it deserves (Martin, NY Times).
So when Italian wool comes to mind, we may only think of a beautifully tailored NOOR COUTURE modest business suit or a warm, luscious sweater that caught our eye. However to Italy, wool has significant historical and economic importance. It’s fascinating to think that so many centuries of dedication to craft and perfection of technique are behind the finished garments we buy today.