Vitale Barberis Canonico: 350 years of history, quality and prestige

Company name

Vitale Barberis Canonico

Year of establishment


Place of establishment



Classic fabrics for menswear

Distinctive features

Starting its activities in the mid XVII century it is one of the most iconic and historical wool mills in the world

The history of the wool mill born in 1663

In 1663 we found its first traces of what will then be the celebrated wool mill we all know today. In this year we see the filing of the famous «quinternetto delle taglie» found in Trivero’s archive, which reports all taxes owed to the Duke of Savoy and within them also the transfer, in exchange of cash and barter, of a fabric called “saia rossa” made by Ajmo Barbero.

Ever since its debut in 1663 the firm kept working year after year, and gained even more momentum when in 1770 won its first tender for the supply of military fabric. Following its success in furnishing the army, the two brothers in charge of the company received many awards: the first, in 1776, was awarded to Giovanni Antonio Barbero who was attributed the ducal license of “woolen fabric manufacturer”.

This license gave them the permission to sign their fabric with their initials “g.a.b”. Furthermore, in 1780 the other brother, Giuseppe, obtained the commercial license to trade in cities of the provinces during trade fairs and markets. It is in these years that the division of productive and commercial activities of the company is defined between Giovanni and Giuseppe, making the firm more dynamic, performing and eventually setting up its success.

Challenged by the French wool mills and by Giuseppe’s death, the association was dissolved in 1808. Hence, Giuseppe’s successors decide to reinstall the company, moving it to Pratrivero and focusing on hand weaving, dying and miling but subcontracting out the spinning. The firm returned to growth so much that in 1910, thanks to significant investments, they could launch a new full cycle factory in Pratrivero. Dubling the revenues and focusing on new technologies, Vitale is the new head of the company.

In 1970 Vitale handed over the position of executives to his sons, Alberto and Luciano, who concentrated on increasing production and expanding the export activities. On the basis of this focus, Vitale Barberis Canonico becomes a public limited company and the two brothers, just like their ancestors, decide to divide the administration of activities between them. Alberto is in charge of the productive and technology department, while Luciano is head of international trade’s development.

The modern history brings us to 2008 when the next generation takes over the management, in fact Alessandro becomes chief executive officer, Francesco head of style and communication of the company and Lucia CSR Manager; all concentrated in the continuous growth and enhancement of the product and territory where Vitale Barberis Canonico operates.

One fabric enclosing men’s style

The refined and accurately selected raw materials, used for the realization of classic and innovative fabrics are: Australian, New Zealand and South America’s wool, China’s cashmere, Africa’s mohair, France’s linen, Egypt’s cotton and Asian’s silk.

All along, in fact, the focus of Vitale Barberis Canonico’s activities is the production of high end fabrics in men’s fashion, all divided in collections some dedicated to drapery and some devoted to reaching more dynamic and technical characteristics.

The selection of fabrics is contained in the following collections: Classica which is inspired by men’s tailoring industry, Supersonic made for travelers and impeccable looks, is created with resilient wool and high torsion yarns which guarantee comfort, uncrushability, elegance and transpirability. Vintage instead is characterized by the use of classic lines revisited with a modern look by virtue of a wise mix of colors and materials.

On the other hand, for performing and technical fabrics we have: Earth, Wind & Fire where the finest raw materials are blended with high tech substances in order to secure sophisticated properties to the final product. Finally, Offlimits which is characterised by the blending of wool and research fibers such as recycled polymers, hence obtaining unique performances.

Last but certainly not least, is H.O.P.E., a collection that encloses a variety of sustainable fabrics which affirms even more the attention that Vitale Barberis Canonico has towards the environmental and social questions.

A history based on inalienable values

Identifying and sharing fundamental values has been crucial for the establishment of this firm in such a competitive market where, in fact, today Vitale Barberis Canonico represents excellence.

Primarily, the attention towards the product has always been the starting and ending point of Vitale Barberis Canonico’s projects, that has always pushed on expanding their fabrics to new horizons, so much that it eventually brought the company to collaborate with brands outside of the textile industry, such as Ferrari and Pantone.

One other funding value that the company has always promoted is the valorization of internal and external talents, demonstrated with the participation in scholarship programs and activities dedicated to young talents. Investing in people, guaranteeing the possibility to access a formative, professional and human process, for Vitale Barberis Canonico means giving a future to competences that have always distinguished Biella’s territory and to preserve the characteristics that make Italian fabric unique worldwide.

Lastly, considered paramount is the protection of the environment through the respect of all natural resources, starting from the depuration of water with a dedicated system, to the selection of sustainable energy, and finishing with the responsible recycling of waste, accumulated during the production, following the circular economy.

Values and principles that make a 350 years old firm modern and conscious of the future’s importance.