How growing sustainability stakes combined with a growing demand for functionalized textiles is bringing Hemp crops back in Europe.
A centuries-old italian company
“Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale, created in 1873, was the third Italian company to be listed in the Milan Stock Exchange three years later” explained Debora Botturi, Chief Innovation Officer at Linificio.“Since the very beginning, creativity, vocation for beauty, love for tradition, attention to sustainability, and relentless innovation, were at the very heart of the company“.
Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale is currently owned by the Marzotto Group and based in Bergamo – Valle Brembana. For the last 150 years, the company is leading the production of unique hemp and flax-based yarns used by weaving workshops all over the world. Just as a wise winemaker blends a variety of grapes to produce vintage wines, Linificio manufactures unique yarns, by wisely choosing the raw materials and assembling them in a perfect way: a secret savoir-faire passed from generation to generation.
Their high-quality fabrics found many applications. One of the most famous is the making of technical textile for the sails of the Italian school-ship “Amerigo Vespucci”. Additionally, Linificio is one of the few players in the field of extremely fine yarns, used for the manufacturing of luxury fabrics, notably destined to the Japanese Imperial House. The company yarns are also present in upholstery, apparel, home furnishings and canvas for art-painting. Thanks to its Italian facilities, Linificio has succeeded in conferring a local image to their trendy and customizable yarns, tainted with a high fashion content.
Innovation at Linificio
The company is constantly striving to add innovation to the tradition. Within the walls of Villa D’Almè’s Production Plant sits an internationally recognized excellence facility : the Linen Research and Development Center. Its expertise covers both traditional and modern hemp and flax-based yarns, from the design to the production using advanced and patented textile machinery.
Besides, Linificio feels accountable of the legacy it will leave to future generations. The company is convinced that in the times to come, people’s welfare should largely benefit from a more circular economy. As an example, Linificio complies to international sustainable textile standards such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and OEKO-TEX Standard 100.
Why taking part in the SSUCHY Project ?
By being an active part of international research projects, the company wants to move forward than then current textile industry standards. “The SSUCHY project is a great opportunity for the company to propose sustainable and ethical products to the market” – added the Chief Innovation Officer.
Linificio not only invests in cutting edge machinery but also aims at building more integrated processes. As an example, the company is moving towards the valorisation of by-products such as the flax and hemp fibres discarded during the current process of its premium yarns making. “The collaboration is a good starting point to push new items in the technical market – such as bast fibres – by taking advantage of the synergies created among the partners of the project.” – explained Debora Boturri.
Linificio expects to greatly improve its yarn, fabric and composite productions as well as to increase and standardize all the specific strength parameters of sustainable hemp fibre composite. The company pursue the ultimate goal to be among the first to introduce to the market an alternative to glass fibres composite.
“Finally, the most interesting outcome for Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale is to increase the use of Hemp in Europe. Developing this 100% sustainable fibre would result in lowering the environmental footprint of the textile industry and to an even greater impact by bring back hemp crops in our territories”- concluded Debora Botturi.