Textile ennobling: the very heart of research and progress
In a hypothetical analytical journey through the “state of the art” of the textile furniture supply chain, textile ennobling would be one of the most important stops. As a matter of fact, this production stage has become the most crucial one in adding value and enhancing Italian and European excellence in the sector. No one better than Marino Vago, president of Sistema Moda Italia, could be best suited to give us an insight into this production sector, not so much for his institutional role, but rather for his deep-rooted entrepreneurial history. Already back in 1995 Marino and his brother Augusto turned their family business (specializing in the finishing of cotton, linen, viscose, polyester, wool and cashmere yarns) into one of Europe’s companies most committed to sustainability in processing. Over the years their entirely sustainable textile production has received many international acknowledgments. We asked Marino Vago to tell us what “textile ennoblement” means within a supply chain that is determined to maintain its leading role in worldwide excellence. “The Italian ennobling sector is undoubtedly an example of the concrete biodiversity of the Italian textile system” Marino Vago said, and went on to explain that “this system is based on a dense network of companies that are ready to face the most topical production issues and, in many cases, to anticipate them even. The first and most important change that I would like to stress demonstrates that in the past this sector was highly fragmented into a myriad of dyers, finishers, printers, etc.. Today instead we consider textile ennoblement as a stage of the process. This gives even more strength to all the companies working in this sector and stimulates the research and development activities that make a decisive contribution to the progress of the entire textile supply chain. No one today would ever underestimate the importance of the ennoblement phase, as opposed to the past, when it was an almost invisible industrial process.
All this has triggered a virtuous circle, undoubtedly placing our sector at the cutting edge of technology when dealing with very important issues such as: process innovation for sustainability (through appropriate industrial information technology); rapid processing of increasingly complex and fairly different yarn blends (such as natural, recycled and artificial yarns); focus on technical and highly performing fabrics in a sector where Italian companies can now compete on an equal footing with German specialists, sometimes even overtaking them; and, last but not least, home and furnishing fabrics.
Today the world of textile finishing not only contributes to the excellence of Italian and European products, but also represents the most advanced example of research and development. Just think of the importance of the ennoblement/finishing sector for the traceability chain”.
This being said, a question arises spontaneously: is the value of the finishing process perceived by the buyers visiting Proposte every year as a contributor to the excellence of new textile products? “The top of the range Italian and European textile supply chains no longer thrive solely on offering beautiful fabrics” – the SMI President said. “It is not only the high degree of creativity that makes Italian products better. Excellence means professionalism, valuable research, speed and flexibility. Therefore, we should never underestimate the importance of professional training, a subject to which we are particularly sensitive and where the ennoblement sector plays a fundamental role. Being desperately price-focussed is humiliating and prevents relevant developments from taking place. This must be tirelessly communicated to the key players on the international market. Let me conclude with a parting shot. All research efforts in our world are geared towards sustainability, which entails costs that will obviously have to be reflected in the final fabric price. Those who are not willing to pay such a price should be aware that their current short-termed saving or gain – regardless of how you call it – will ultimately be paid by the Planet”.