WORDS: *Joe Hall* | PHOTOS: *Gavin Campbell*
The words ‘Made in Italy’ are often associated with expertise, craftsmanship and quality. Obvious examples could be sports car manufacturers such as Maserati, coffee machine marques like Marzocco or shirts from the likes of Canali. Manufacturing and industry in Italy is, like food and family, something they do properly. The textiles industry is no exception, particularly when it comes to cycling clothing.
But what is it about being made in Italy? We visited two of Rapha’s most prestigious partners to find out a bit more behind those three words.
Vincenzo Mantovani – silver medalist on the velodrome at the 1964 Olympics – started making jerseys for himself and selling them to fellow racers in the late sixties. In 1971 he set up MOA Sport. Since then the company, better known today by the name Nalini (their main in-house brand), has garbed professional and amateur riders the world over. With ten Tours de France, seven Giri d’Italia and four World Championship jerseys to their name, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more authentic clothing manufacturer in cycling.
Standing for Manifattura Italiana Tessuti Indemagliabili, MITI has been at the front of ‘knitting innovation since 1931’. The major fabric supplier to almost every cycling brand, Miti’s commitment to quality and service is unparalleled in their sector. Vincenzo Polli, the father of the company, brought a new warp knitting process to this part of Italy almost two decades before other textile businesses in the region. And the innovation continues to this day with the company maintaining a close control on materials, consistency and reputation.