Made in Italy: A family affair
In the tiny town of Forlì, just a small hour by train outside of Bologna in Italy, lies Maglificio Pini — our incredible knitwear manufacturer — that we visited back in November of 2021. Let us take you with us, shall we?
Maglificio Pini is a family run business founded in 1977 by Giuseppe (Pippo) Pini, currently run by his three adult children (Lucia, Martina and Francesco), all overseeing different departments in this amazing facility.
We absolutely love factories and were warmly greeted upon arrival by Martina, whom we have been talking to via email (i.e. geeking out about details in knitwear) for what seemed like forever. To be in an actual physical space of such high-quality production was so surreal, and quite humbling.
Maglificio Pini is a prominent player in knitwear fashion (and they work with some of the world’s leading fashion brands, such as Khaite, Proenza Schouler and Dior), with every design collected and catalogued in the company archive of styles and stitches: a special space with more than 4.000 (!) items, which we got to peruse — it was a tactile and visual feast.
Maglificio Pini was one of the first knitwear producers in Italy to establish a strong collaboration with the Japanese company Shima Seiki, a world leader in the production of high-quality knitwear machines.
We think Maglifico Pini have a best-of-both-worlds approach to fashion, by fusing tech and tailored manufacturing, as they create so-called fully fashioned knitwear.
Fully fashioned knitting is where individual garment components are knitted to shape so they can be assembled using linking machines and well, hands (yes, finishing up clothes with a needle and thread).
As Maglificio Pini don’t create a fabric that is cut, there is a zero waste approach in their production of knitwear. They only knit what they need for each item. This is a method used frequently by luxury and sustainable brands, as it requires a very high level skill set.
The tagline «Made in Italy» has so many elements of storytelling woven into it, and we are so thrilled to be able to produce our knitwear in a country that has such a keen attention to detail — lest not forget a love of life, incredible food (*pasta*), and a rich history of craftsmanship.
We especially love Maglificio Pini’s emphasis on intergenerational work. They have an ethos of creating pieces that will transcend time as they are made in the absolute best way, with the best materials at hand — such as yarns from some of the finest mills in the world (e.g. from Zegna Baruffa and Tollegno1900), with spools of cashmere, wool, cotton, silk, linen and viscose.
The factory visit was truly special as we were able to build upon our relationship with the owners of this magical place. In a world where fast fashion reigns supreme we think it’s vital to create a small challenger brand that can work in an ecosystem with other small brands — and focus on slow growth and the people creating our garments.
It was also so much fun to geek out about yarn, details and trimmings — as we are creating our first garments, including styles such as a sweater with an aim to last a hundred years (the Centennial sweater), a pair of trousers with a foldable top part (working title: Spaghetti trousers!) and of course, our beloved BellyTech, a knitted tube that can be worn both over and under other garments, meant to keep your core warm and protected (like a snood for your belly).
We say that TUBU is «for all seasons of life», as life will contain a myriad of both springs and winters — and your body will inevitably change. We don’t think seasonality is about chucking out one piece of clothing as the temperature shifts.
We want to create perennial knitwear that you will keep in your wardrobe, take care of, mend, repair and perhaps give away to someone you love if the time comes to part with it.
Because after all, knit it is.