Vitale Barberis Canonico

2013 marked the 350th anniversary of the company’s wool mill activities, permitting it to become a member of Les Hénokiens, an international association.

The “quinternetto delle taglie” (literally a “small, five-page list of sizes”) dates to 1663, and amounts to a particularly significant historical document for the Barberis Canonico family. It describes Ajmo Barbero’s sale of a “saia grisa” to the Duke of Savoia, and is essentially the first official document testifying to the company’s wool mill activities. But that’s not all: the document also describes a mastery of the dyeing process (something not everyone possessed) that was jealously guarded and passed down from father to son.

Sales continued to increase, and the company inaugurated two new factories in the Triverese region. Thanks to the high quality of the fabrics it was producing, the company began to export successfully the world over, not only in Europe, but also in the Americas, the British Raj, and even China.

The partnership between Oreste and Vitale, on which production was founded, came to an end during a difficult historical period: a global economic crisis had shaken the markets, and in Italy (and elsewhere) Fascism was hindering entrepreneurial liberty for wool merchants. Despite these difficulties – and even as World War Two siphoned away workers, reduced electricity and made it difficult to find replacement parts for the machines and wool dyes – in 1936 Vitale Barberis Canonico® was born.