by Luca Negri © 2019 Bike It! Bellagio
When we think of the “Made in Italy” concept, a long history of tradition, design, manual work, and attention to details come to mind. However, in many cases, Made in Italy does not always mean 100% Italian made because of extreme specialization and the outsourcing of production (and sometimes even design) in other countries becoming the norm.
Fortunately, there are still today some true Italian made products. We can assure you that Nalini cycling apparel and gear are 100% Italian designed and produced. The Nalini headquarters in Mantova represents one of the only production sites in Italy where the production chain is completely on site. They start with a single thread, which eventually becomes a complete article of clothing. Behind this process there is a lot of history, research and development, and design that has boasted 100% customer satisfaction for decades.
We had the opportunity to visit the factory, thanks to our Bianchi sales rep and Nalini’s Commerical Director for Italy. First we saw a small “museum” at the entrance, with several images of cycling photo finishes and jerseys from successful cyclists wearing Nalini products. Afterward, we took a tour of the entire factory, visiting each production room to witness the production phases firsthand.
The factory is huge, larger than expected, and provides jobs to many of those who live in the town. At each section, the various production heads welcomed us; they are proud to be a part of Nalini and represent its value. The staff explained and showed us what each production team does for the different kinds of apparel. For example, we saw how socks are made using their specially-made machines. We also saw the entire process of idea and jersey design to the finished product. There is a lot of work put into making a custom jersey and it passes through the hands of several people—remember this when buying your next cycling jersey! Each part of their production line is extremely important, even the smallest of roles, to complete the final product. Nalini products still require manual labor, such as sewing various clothing parts/panels together, quality control, even the folding single packaging of each product by hand. The Nalini brand is part of MOA Sport, which also produces other big name brands and distributes them internationally.
We are excited to announce that Bike It's 2020 cycling kits will be made by Nalini and will be available in our shop, as well as other Nalini apprel made for Bianchi. We were impressed with the factory tour and to talk in person with Nalini staff and see firsthand what the company is about.
Choosing a brand isn’t always just about the name or fashion. With Nalini comes an Italian story and philosophy, so it makes sense that Nalini and Bianchi have partnered. It is also fitting for Bike It! to choose Nalini for our cycling apparel to align with our decision to have an all-Italian brand store and rental.