The (new) history of Italian Wool

The (new) history of Italian Wool. Let’s write it together!

Once you start paying attention, it’s clear that wool and wool working, especially at home, is becoming more popular all the time. It’s no longer a flash-in the pan trend as any quick scan of U.S. or U.K. based blogs, shops, or news stories will tell. So, what’s going on in Italy? Are they on trend or behind the times? Just yesterday I read a blog post from my favorite Italian wool Co-Op, The Wool Box, and found that official/government support is as slow and/or non-existant as ever but individual italians are coming up with innovative projects on their own and showing that inventive spirit that Italians from Leonardo to Giò Ponti have made famous.


I was struck by Manuele Cecconello’s moving, dramatic photo of Biella, which was, until relatively recently, one of the premiere centers of wool production and processing not only in Italy but also in all of Europe.


The following is translated from The Wool Box blog:

The time has come; the signs are all around us.


Interest in wool, in all of its varied aspects, is on the rise. From the raw wool all the way to the finished garment: the idea that it’s better to create it with your own two hands, is beginning to take hold worldwide. The U.S. has taken the lead in terms of both market stimulus and accomplishments and Northern Europe, thanks in part to an impressive promotional campaign supported by Prince Charles, continues to keep up the pace, producing a continuous stream of quality products.


And here in Italy? As we’ve come to expect, only after a trend has become well established are Italians ready to come out in the open and enjoy our portion of the limelight. Each one of us finally brings out the precious contributions that we’ve been working on in solitude, with passion, method and rigor. Unfortunately these valuable, carefully thought out projects, are rarely supported by officials or institutions, what a shame!


Still, wool continues to be an extraordinary raw material, not only for its physical characteristics but also because it’s a completely organic material and 100% biodegradable and therefore creates no significant negative impact on the environment. When wool is processed locally (at 0 km), or better yet at home, the carbon footprint is reduced to almost zero and, consequentially, its inherent value increases exponentially.

As we’ve always believed: passion, skill, know-how and rhythm.


So, here’s our proposal: let’s not wait for what’s already an established trend before joining the avant-garde in support of our own national initiatives.

With this goal in mind, here in Miagliano, in The Wool Box headquarters, we’ve established the “Comitato Amici della Lana (Friends of Wool Committee)”. We aim to promote wool-related cultural initiatives, research, teaching opportunities, sports and entertainment.

It’s an ambitious project and it requires the participation of our local community as well as artists, creative people, professionals and ordinary people, lots of ordinary people just like us; people who find in this amazing, natural material, a meaningful touchstone and a positive vision of the future.

Ideas, knowledge, work, creativity and development are the core concepts that characterize the goals and projects of the Comitato Amici della Lana.

Membership is, of course, completely free and simply supporting the ideal in and of itself (even from a distance) already constitutes a sustaining element of the project and serves as a ‘thermometer’ to gauge our awareness of…our future.

So, if you’re with us, let us know right away, become a member of the Friends of Wool Committee now.

You’ll be with us at the forefront of what in our near future will be the trend of the century…at least we hope so.


See you soon, and as ever, … happy wool-working!

5 thoughts on “The (new) history of Italian Wool

    • Certainly you can join as a show of support, it’s also true that you’ll most likely get invitations to do lots of fun wool-related stuff in Italy and then you’ll have to come and visit me!

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