the wool factory

The passion of a family,
the mission of a company

Lanificio Luigi Colombo is the world’s top producer of cashmere and high quality fibres. Knowledge of raw materials, high technology and experience in traditional craftsmanship are the distinctive elements of a philosophy built on values that create culture and culture that creates quality. It’s the simple story of a difficult job. It is a vocation that has been handed down for generations, generations who dedicated their life to the pursuit of excellence.

History

Lanificio Luigi Colombo was named after its founder, Luigi. A highly charismatic artist and explorer, he focused his attention on the niche sector of precious fibres from the very beginning. The 70's brought the most recent Colombo generation into the company: Roberto, the creative mind, innovator and marketing expert, and Giancarlo, the company’s Marco Polo, dedicated to the research of raw materials, and production manager. It is the testimony of people who love high quality fibres as a passion and a lifestyle.

FROM MATERIALS TO FORM

The entire Lanificio Luigi Colombo production process takes place in the two historic Italian facilities of Borgosesia and Ghemme: from the meticulous selection of fibres to their transformation into yarns and fabrics right to the finished product. Each single phase takes place within a vertical structure under the close supervision of the Colombo Family to guarantee the highest possible degree of quality. Decades of family history, work and passion that has already been transmitted to the next generation who is learning the secrets of doing, the values of truth and the humility of knowing that you have to learn in order to be the future.

High quality fibres

The success of Lanificio Luigi Colombo is founded on research and the attentive selection of the most prestigious fibres:

  • cashmere
  • guanaco
  • vicuna
  • Camel
  • cashmere yangir
  • Other fibres
cashmere
  • This precious fibre is obtained from the fleece of the Hircus goat, which has been bred by Asian peoples for over 7,500 years in the most inaccessible areas of the Himalayas.Today the species can be found in the Xinjiang region as well as in Tibet and Mongolia.
  • The fleece of the Hircus goat, which has been used since the times of the Great Mogol, may be white, the most prized colour, or in various natural tones that range from beige to dark brown.
  • Its long coat hides a precious, soft, warm undercoat called duvet, which enables the animal to maintain a constant body temperature even in the cold climates of the Asian mountains.
  • The duvet is gathered in June by combing. Each animal produces just a few hundred grams of fibres per year with a diameter of about 15 microns.
  • The goats raised in Inner Mongolia produce the finest duvet, which is softer and silkier to the touch. These are the fibres selected and used by Lanificio Luigi Colombo.
guanaco
  • The guanaco is the South American camelid most able to adapt to the widest variety of environmental conditions. It can be found from the Peruvian plateaus to the Argentine Pampas and the Strait of Magellan.
  • Graced with an elegance of movement and fierce beauty, it was considered a legendary animal even in ancient times and played a fundamental role in Prehispanic civilizations.
  • Thanks to the development of special shearing systems and the animal's release into the wild, its fleece has recently begun to be used to manufacture the highest quality textiles. Its fleece is extraordinarily fine, ranging from 12.5 to 13 microns compared with the 15 microns of cashmere.
  • After sheering, which is only performed once every 2 years, the fleece is separated to eliminate the thickest fibres; the result are light flocks in a warm reddish-brown colour. When carefully and expertly processed, Guanaco fleece produces a refined fabric of unparalleled softness.
  • During the 90's Lanificio Luigi Colombo developed a cutting edge experimental project for breeding Guanaco in Patagonia. The project was supervised in their land of origin, ensuring optimal processing while respecting the local economy: an advanced sensibility that confirms the company's emphasis on responsibility in its mission.
vicuña
  • The vicuña, the smallest member of the Camelidae family (guanaco, lama, alpaca), lives in the wild on the Cordillera of Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.Historically it was considered a gift from Inti, the God of the sun who could melt the snows transforming them into the streams that nourish the earth.
  • Only the royal family was allowed to wear the precious fibres. The legends connected to this animal are so embedded in the culture of the Andean countries that magical properties are still attributed to it to this day.
  • The Vicuña produces the finest fibres that can be spun: an average of 12 microns in diameter compared with the 15 microns of cashmere. An adult animal can only produce 250 grams of wool each year. Its coat is the softest, shiniest and warmest in the world.
  • It is normally a reddish-brown colour while the white or albino Vicuña is extremely rare.
  • This animal is protected by Cites (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), an international agreement that was signed by numerous countries in Washington in 1973 with the goal of regulating the trade of fauna and flora at risk of extinction.
  • Respectful of this preservation, Lanificio Colombo uses these fibres for unique and costly items.
Camel
  • The camel belongs to the Camelidae Gray family and includes two subspecies: one with a single hump, the dromedary, which is particularly widespread in Africa and Arabia, and one with two humps, the camel in the strict sense of the word, the Camelus bactrianus that can survive even in the coldest climates of Mongolia and China.
  • The Bactrian has a particularly soft undercoat, called duvet, which is extremely fine and warm: fibres have an average diameter of 18 microns. The finest duvet is produced by the youngest animals.
  • The finest camelhair is found in China. The normal colour of the camel is reddish-brown, but the extremely rare white or albino coat, which was described by Marco Polo, is the most prized.
yangir
  • Yangir Cashmere is a family of fabrics created from the precious fibres of the Siberian Ibex, an animal that lives up to 5,700 meters of altitude in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia as well as in the high plateaus of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
  • Its soft and glossy undercoat has a natural golden colour and fibres measuring 13.5 microns.

Other fibres
  • For the first time ever Lanificio Colombo has been able to utilize the fibres of traditional fur animals fort he production of yarns and fabrics. It took numerous years to convince the breeders to collect the hairs of these animals after they are lost during the natural cycle of fur regeneration.
  • Colombo also strongly invested into the development of new production methods. The results are fabrics of unrivalled quality, out of which prized garments can be obtained.
  • Mink
    The mink is closely associated with the fluvial and lake zones of North America. Its coat is extremely soft and shiny with hairs measuring 12 microns in diameter on average.
  • It generally displays a dark brown colour, which is darker on the back and almost black on the legs and at the end of the tail, with a white area down the midline from chin to belly.
  • Chinchilla
    The chinchilla is a nocturnal rodent native to South America. The chinchilla owes its name to the Spanish who named it after the people who first used it. In Spanish chinchilla actually means "little Chincha".
  • Widely known for its fur, it has risked extinction. Its coat is of a grey colour with fibres of an average diameter of 14 microns.
  • Ermine
    The Ermine is a small mammal that is common throughout the entire Northern hemisphere from North America to Europe and Asia, and is even found in the Arctic region.
  • Ancient legends depict it as a clever animal, able to capture its prey with ingenious acrobatics that resemble a sort of tribal dance. Due to its value and beauty, the Ermine is considered a symbol of purity and royalty.
  • Its fur has been used over the centuries as a decorative element on royal robes.
Fabric
division

This is the heart of Lanificio Luigi Colombo.
A think tank of ideas, where unique fabrics with revolutionary characteristics overtake traditional concepts.The art of manufacturing consists in ninety-four production steps and eighteen intermediate controls: a profession that is born form the love of high quality fibres, grows with research and perfects itself with the help of craftsmanship. Quality is also the consequence of a know-how that has matured in decades of experience and that the R&D office never ceases to innovate.
Lanificio Luigi Colombo creates fabric collections for the most prestigious names of Italian and International Fashion.

finished product
division

Lanificio Luigi Colombo prêt à porter collections including women's, men's, knitwear and accessories are produced exclusively from the precious fibres and fabrics of the Fabric Division.
The attention to detail and and the intrinsic quality of the precious fibres are the cornerstones that make every garment sophisticated and contemporary, an expression of timeless luxury.
The company philosophy goes beyond fashion to become the Colombo lifestyle.
The pieces of the collections are sold in the most important department stores and specialty stores worldwide as well as in the company’s own points of sale.

Loading