In nomine lanae
The history of Manifattura Lane Borgosesia wool mill is tied with the name of the Antongini family.
It is in fact Carlo Antongini (1797-1886) who, having fled from Milan due to his participation in the revolutionary uprisings of 1848, took refuge in Valsesia where he undertook with his brothers the first plans to establish a worsted spinning mill of the English type. The area of Valsesia proved to be particularly suitable because it was located along the route of flocks of sheep migrating to the Biella district, and it was actually in Borgosesia by the Sesia River where the periodic shearing of the sheep and the washing of the wool occurred.
"A worsted spinning mill"
On January 30, 1850 the Antongini brothers with the milanese Zucchetti (who will soon leave the company) founded the company F.lli Antongini & Comp. in Aranco, with 20 employees.
The business of the firm at that time was the same as what appears today on the statute of the Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. company, “a worsted spinning mill”.
The Unification of Italy in a a thread of wool
With a promissory note worth £ 510.000, the company entered the history of the Italian Risorgimento.
Mindful of their patriotic past, the Antongini brothers actively participated in the unification of Italy, guaranteeing with a bill of 510,000 lire the Rubattino company of Genoa for the use of the two steamers (Piedmont and Lombardy) that Giuseppe Garibaldi would use in the “Expedition dei Mille “, in which two grandchildren of the Antongini also took part.
Development and engagement towards local community
From Borgosesia to international stages
The company immediately stood out for the quality of its production. In 1852 more than 150 people were employed and, a sign of his precocious aptitude for international scenarios, the Company participated with his knitting yarns in the Universal Expos: London 1862, with a diploma of honor, Paris 1867 with a silver medal, Vienna 1873 and so on.
In the meantime, the factory was moved from Aranco to Borgosesia, on the other side of the Sesia. Here in 1870 the new factory was inaugurated, powered by the driving force produced by a hydraulic turbine. On 1 March 1873, the Company Anonima Manifattura Lane Borgosesia was established in the offices of Banco di Torino. The transformation from a family-run business to a limited company (SA) was due to two reasons: to find the huge capital necessary to expand the new plant and to increase, with a considerable investment in machinery, the production capacity, which would increase in a few years from 2,300 to 7,000 spindles, employing over 350 workers.
Company, village, family
Under the brilliant and careful management of Giuseppe Magni (1845-1932), General Manager and then President of the Company, Manifattura Lane Borgosesia became a key driver of welfare development in Borgosesia
In 1874 housing for the workers (over 1,000 rooms) were built and the Casa Operaia di Aranco was opened with a capacity of 320 guests. In this period, a 50-strong musical band was founded and a few years later a team of firefighters was activated. In 1890 the factory equipped itself with a medical clinic – including also an X-ray machine – capable of providing assistance to citizens and not only to workers. The “Federation of Social Security Institution” was established, and would gradually collect all the social and philanthropic works, including a pension fund for elderly workers, built a sports field, the Social Theater and equipped the community with a library.
Borsetti: the legacy of textiles
At the end of the 19th Century the appearance of Biella was that of a heavily textile industrialized area, dotted with large factories and small works.
Giacomo Borsetti was born in Biella in 1887. His father, a foreman in Maglificio Boglietti, was in charge of the washing, milling and brushing of the knit rolls and later became manager of the cutting and garment production of the finished goods. Giacomo Borsetti inherited this passion for textiles. After attending a textile school, Borsetti soon started his working life first at the Kemmerer Company, the famous wool agent of that time, and then at Lanificio Viola and Lanificio Fiorina, for which he became a travelling salesman. In those years Giacomo Borsetti acquired great knowledge of textile techniques and the textile market, receiving esteem and appreciation from all the experts of the sector.
Botto Poala: tradition meets technology
Botto Poala company is founded in 1876 when the founder of the Botto Poala family began his entrepreneurial adventure in Vallestrona.
It’s the beginning of a story made of respect for raw materials and artisan passion, born in another reference point of the emerging textile industry in the North West of Italy. Until the 1920s the production of Botto Poala was only carded wool yarn, but with a constant focus on a very high quality process.
The consolidation of a leading textile expertise
Welfare: an act of care
Between 1909 and 1927 the Company reinforced production plants as well as social welfare: Manifatture Lane Borgosesia employed up to 1,700 people.
The Boarding School was created, with a capacity of 400 beds, to accommodate female workers from distant areas, completed with private theater and church, then with two other pensioners able to accommodate from 150 to 300 girls and with a nursery for 60 children. In 1910 the company bought nine industrial buildings, called “North Section”, connected to the main plant by a narrow-gauge steam train. Near the Borgosesia railway station the buildings of the “East Section” were carried out together with a professional school, later transformed into a technical school specializing in spinning and weaving, equipped with all the necessary machinery.
New yarns, new colors, the consistent quality
While in Borgosesia the development of the wool industry continued at full speed, in the nearby area of Biella the Zegna Baruffa brothers opened two small spinning mills.
In this period the yarn exported was no longer paid according to the price of the wool but on the basis of the craftsmanship employed in the processing. It was for this reason that the company of the Zegna Baruffa brothers strove to improve the crafting enabling them to sell their products at higher prices. This is how fancy yarns, bright colored crèpes and novelty yarns for that period were started. In the meantime the company assumed the name of A. Zegna s.a.s., and specialized towards quality high end products.
Filatura di Chiavazza is born
Giacomo Borsetti decided to start his own business by buying a spinning mill in Chiavazza and establishing his own company on March 28, 1927: “Filatura di Chiavazza”.
The Filatura di Chiavazza was located at the outlet of the deep Cervo Torrent Valley, in an area south of Biella bearing the same name, as desired by Giacomo Borsetti. In a short time the young entrepreneur acquired numerous secrets of carded spinning which he united with his strong sense of entrepreneurship and great care in the selection of raw materials.
Fine raw materials, bold experiments
The finest raw materials meet new aesthetic tastes. The needs of a constantly evolving market, the artisan passion of the origins.
The philosophy behind the entire production cycle of Botto Poala company evolved in a very consistent way to the new century: to focus on extreme experimentation and at the same time on attention to the raw materials, strictly natural and precious.
Driving the growth
Towards new horizons
The Zegna Baruffa company is born and sets the basis for a significant internationalization extending commercial ties around Italy, in Europe and the USA.
In the post-war period, particularly starting from 1950, we witness the economic boom with the resumption of growth and prosperity. Encouraged by this new scenario, Giorgio and Giulio Zegna Baruffa – successors of their father Albino and uncle Alfredo – concentrated their energies on increasing the already high levels of quality achieved by the founders, forming the new company Zegna Baruffa s.r.l. and committing to extend its presence in the world.
Zegna Baruffa evolves
The company grows to respond to the most needs of a market that is always large and varied.
In order to deal with the increase in sales volumes, in 1974 Zegna Baruffa took over the industrial part of Manifattura Lane Borgosesia and changed the company name to ZEGNA BARUFFA LANE BORGOSESIA S.p.A . The composite shareholding would soon see the descendants of Giuseppe Botto Poala, of Albino Zegna Baruffa and of Giacomo Borsetti converge in the company.
From tradition to automation
With great intelligence and hard work, Roberto Borsetti, Giacomo's son, gave impetus to his company and introduced information technology.
The modern plant in Vigliano Biellese, which had grown continually during the years, proceeded to automate its machinery electronically. In order to get the best out of the processing, the machinery was especially modified and personalized. Besides this, the plant was computerized so that all company data was available in “real time”. The spinning mill became one of the most important companies in Italy and in Europe in the sector of carded products for high quality knitwear. Cachemire by Filatura di Chiavazza is recognized and appreciated by the top designers of both Italian and international fashion houses.
Technological innovation on all textile cycle
It's during the seventies that the Company Botto Poala takes its great technological leap.
Sophisticated machinery is used in creating products which are more able to satisfy the most demanding clientele. From that moment the company realizes the importance of completing the textile cycle, producing yarns for knitwear, underwear and handknitting in both worsted and woolen spinning.
Cashwool, and more: the turning points in yarns technology
The new signature in a thread
In the 1980s Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. launches Cashwool®: a product that would become the symbol of high quality and innovation.
Cashwool® is a very fine linear yarn (19/19.5 micron), that even today continues to be unique yarn: as soft as cashmere and as shiny as silk. The creation of this innovative product is flanked by another innovative (and not only by chance) way of proposing it: stock service.
Carded cashmere: a milestone in the history of yarn
The cashmere of Filatura Chiavazza – an important intuition of Roberto Borsetti – has made the history of spinning.
The pioneering and courageous choice to work cashmere, dictated by the continuous research of higher quality raw materials that must be spun in a delicate and careful way, was at that time a prerogative of the Scottish industry. The cashmere produced by Chiavazza is not only the first carded cashmere produced in Italy, but also a yarn that, in a short time, matched and overcame the quality of the cashmere yarns produced in Scotland.
Detailed quality, international trends
Extremely fine wool, the finest silks, cashmere and the thinnest linens become high end yarns with a classic look but increasingly sophisticated.
The company is recognized around the world as a world-class brand. The winning card of Botto Poala is the extreme quality combined with the attention in the research of fashion trends. This allows us to forge collaborations with the biggest names in Italian and world style.
A global premium player
Beyond the borders
The global expansion of Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. accelerates, thanks to a first contact with Japan leveraged by Cashwool® innovation and brillant commercial intuition.
In the 1990s the strategy of the group is further defined, becoming the leader in the production of industrial yarns for classic and fantasy outerwear. The strategic development in internationalization is achieved by the build-up of an international commercial organization, with the opening of foreign offices in New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and the area of Dusseldorf, in Germany.
150 years of unique savoir-faire
The anniversary in the new millennium
In July 2000 Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. celebrates 150 years of success.
At the end of Pitti Imagine Filati show an impressive event celebrates the company’s 150th birthday with a spectacular happening inspired by the concept of Young Spirit, gathering in Florence all the most important stakeholders of Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A.
Looking for excellence
In 2006 a dyeing department is inaugurated in Borgosesia, marking a new milestone in the field of innovation.
With the aim of further improving the offer, making it more and more customizable, the company makes huge investments to further increase the already high quality level.
A new way of feeling colors
A new dye of the iconic Cashwool® yarn comes on the market: the perfection and the chromatic harmony of Supermélange.
In 2007 Supermelange Cashwool® version is launched: a product with unique color characteristics, thanks to an innovative color research, through a constant blending. The result is a uniform colored yarn, free from any stripes.
The 3 sides of a winning know how
Unity is strength
One of the most important groups in the international textile market is born: Zegna Baruffa S.p.A. , Filatura di Chiavazza S.p.A. and Botto Poala S.p.A. merge.
On June 1, 2009 Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. and Filatura di Chiavazza S.p.A. reach a preliminary agreement that will lead to the full merger of the two companies. An operation that encourages production, commercial and financial synergies. In December 2009, the purchase of the entire share package of Botto Poala S.p.A.is finalized, to be later incorporated in 2016.The result is one of the most important groups in terms of size and offer. Worsted, wool and patterned yarns for knitwear and weaving, made with fine raw materials: extra-fine wool, silk and cashmere and with the use of the most advanced technologies. A winning mix for the new Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A., a company with winning know-how, specialized in fine and luxury yarns.
Innovation and sustainability
A value to wear every day
Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. sponsors the event “Forest for fashion - Fashion for forest” to support sustainability in fashion as a tool to improve the health of the planet.
The purpose of the event is to commit a global rethink of human activities within a new global renaissance in perfect balance with the planet, showing how humans and the ecosystem profit by this new relationship whose symbol has become “Third Paradise” by the famous artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. Within this vision, Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. reviews and improves some practical aspects of the production cycle: highly sophisticated machinery to optimize energy and water consumption. The water recycling operates through a chemical-physical process combined with an internal sewage treatment plant, from which the discharged water is reintroduced into the environment, chemically pure and potable.
R&D targeting quality and comfort
In July 2015 the H2DRY (TM) treatment is presented in Pitti Immagine Filati. Meanwhile a new proposal called Babà changes the rule of carded yarns.
This exclusive treatment applied to some of the leading products of Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. collection, especially on the extra fine wool, creates very high performance yarns in terms of total easy care, crease resistance, breathability and elasticity. The collaboration with the University of Turin, for the development and testing, has allowed us to obtain a perfect yarn for a total comfort knitwear. In the meantime a new yarn called Babà is launched, mixing cashmere from the most valuable sources and the finest Australian wools: a cutting edge innovation that provides a superior level in terms of softness, comfort and reliability.
A look into the future
In May 2018 the first Sustainability Report is edited, in collaboration with Deloitte Touche.
Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. is once again leading textile market in another pivotal aspect for the future of our business, showing since the beginning a strong commitment and a detailed Roadmap in building a sustainable business model, accordingly to all key priorities of ONU Sustainable Development Goals.
New Paradigms, New Challenges
Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. has been able to face the difficult times of the pandemic consistently with its values of respect for people and the territory: safety and well-being have been top priorities, without losing the strategic focus in its quality proposal for premium knitters and international high fashion designers.
In 2022 Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia S.p.A. is leading the strong recovery of textile manufacturing, not only in terms of business development, but also by relaunching its image, based on three key values. These values are: the awareness of an expertise in the art of thread that has lasted for more than 150 years; the mission and commitment to offer excellence in product, service and color range; the vision of a future-oriented company, capable of anticipating fashion trends and major technological changes, and to bring them to our customers. Spinning trends – Since 1850