Why make Luxury Linens in Italy?

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One of our customers recently ask us the below question (essentially, why do you make your linens in Italy).

Hi Steve,

I can see why the linens cost more on a manufacturing basis, Italian laws and unions make it expensive to produce anything in Italy. I know this because we have a factory in Italy, as well as factories in Asia and the USA. Italy is definitely #2 behind Detroit in terms of PIA unions and stupid business-hampering regulations.

When you say, the linens are worth the cost, my question is why? You could certainly make these with almost any competent weavers. So why produce them in Italy? You could import the same fabric into a less expensive culture and hire great weavers there. Is there something specifically unique about the Italian weavers?

Just wondering... Mark

Mark, asked some good questions. Here is our reply:

Our textiles are woven in Northern Italy.

  • Northern Italy has been one of the leading cotton weaving regions in the world since the Middle Ages. They are outstanding at it and in our opinion the best in the world.
  • Some may say that weaving is weaving. To some extent it is, however, the yarns and the grades of cotton used in these textiles is what makes the difference. The grade of cotton is where a significant amount of the cost lies.
  • As with virtually everything, there are different grades of products. I like to use hamburgers as an analogy.

All cotton is not created equal

  • There are hamburgers that you can get at White Castle and ones from great restaurant made from Kobe beef.
    • Both are hamburgers, both are beef. Yet, I am sure you will agree, there is a big difference in the end product (and price).
  • The same is true with woven cotton bed sheets; there are very inexpensive grades of cotton used in the manufacturing of bed sheets and very expensive grades and many grades in-between. 
  • There are few cotton textile mills in the US, there are even fewer which have looms 120” wide (a requirement for bedding products), but fewer yet, that specialize in thin sheet grade cotton.
    • Luxury Linen production is a small niche market. There are also subtleties associated with weaving products that are suitable for luxury linens, which simply aren’t found in the US.
  • China and India have the low-cost high volume inexpensive markets covered; however, their choice of cotton, yarns and repeat-ability is the variable. Their selection of cotton is frequently substandard.
  • These high volume technically-equipped weavers are not interested in the small quantity (high quality, small demand) that the luxury linen industry offers.
    • The smaller weavers in Asia are typically not trustworthy and have been known to cut corners...
  • I suppose it might be possible to find someone in the US to weave this fine of cotton; however, the learning curve will be expensive and the reality is Italy has it. 

Here is an enlarged image of our Italian cotton sheet weight fabric and some from China - notice the inconsistent thread diameters and weave. Additionally, look at the knotted-up area, this will become a pill after a few uses and washes.

  • The finishing of luxury linens is also specialty craft.
  • The sew rooms in Italy are small with very skilled sewers.  
    • Some of the workers in our sew rooms are 3rd & 4th generation luxury bed linen sewers. 
  • Italy still has a pride in craftsmanship that doesn’t exists in other parts of the world.
  • There is also a cache associate with “made in Italy” label that adds an intangible value to the product.

Bottom line - we make our linens in Italy, not because Italy is a low cost country to do business in, but, because Italy is where the best linens in the world can be produced. 

Click Shop Now button to buy our incredible luxurious Italian linens.

Click here to shop for Vero's luxury bed linens

Use the code bedding tips at checkout & get 5% off your entire purchase.

View 150+ bedding related articles on our “How to Tips” page found here