Founded in 1876, the Albini Group makes some the world's finest fabrics. While the group itself was founded in 1876, since then the company has acquired the English mills Thomas Mason and David & John Anderson (DJA).
The company was originally founded by Zaffiro Borgomanero in 1876 in the town of Desenzano sul Serio in the borough of Albino. Although the company was originally named Z. Borgomanero & C. In its first year of business the company operated 40 looms with 44 employees. Eight years later, in 1884 the company won a bronze model at the Industrial Exhibition of Turin, recognizing the company for its shirting fabrics. By 1890, Borgomanero, not having any children of his own, leaves the company to his nephew Giovanni Albini. By then, the company had grown to 107 looms with 90 employees. Albini also became president of the Bergamo Chamber of Commerce as a significant actor in the local economy. Post World War II, the company went to its fourth generation of family ownership. In 1992, the company acquires the English brands Thomas Mason, David & John Anderson, and Ashton Shirtings. By 1996, the company continuing with its vertical integration, acquired finishing plants in Brebbia, Italy, the first such change outside its historic original location. Over the past decade, the company has continued its process of vertically integrating acquiring factories in the Czech Republic, Egypt, as well as additional facilities in Italy. Today, the company is operating under its fifth generation of family leadership, with exports now accounting for 70% of revenue. It can now provide over 20,000 different types of fabrics, and ships to over 80 countries in the world. As such it is today the world's largest European manufacturer of shirting fabrics.
Albini now provides a wide range of shirting to all segments of the market, including bespoke, made to measure, and ready to wear. In particular the company's Thomas Mason fabrics are now carried by J. Crew making them accessible to a much broader audience. The company also now offers RTW and MTM shirts under its own house brand.
The company's vertical integration, from sourcing cotton in Egypt, to finishing in Europe, has given them full control of the shirt making process. The company's acquisitions also gave them access to over 700 fabric swatches from the Thomas Mason and DJA labers. This, then, allows Albini to produce historically influenced designs. Today, there is probably no other company that has the same depth and breadth of shirt making.
How Albini Shirts are Made
A Short Documentary on Alibini (in Chinese, with English subtitles)