Two small towns in Piemont: Borgosesia and Ghemme. Historic walls from the 15th century, with a small faceless industrial area and a wine culture, which can be savoured. The red 'Ghemme' is an insider tip. That one of the finest cashmere producers in the world has its facilities here is only able to astonish those who do not know the Pietmontese subtlety of taste, the artistry and accuracy for detail.
500, 000 tonnes of raw wool per year are processed at the stylish COLOMBO weaving mills in both of these small Italian towns. The wool comes from the Siberian goat, the Yangir goat, Cashmere goat, Guanaco, the Albino Vicuña down, that has been auctioned at 2000 Euro per kilo. This thread is then mixed with ermine, chinchilla and mink so that fabrics are created for which there is virtually no competition.
One of the reasons why COLOMBO produces its noble cashmeres in Piemont and not in one of the low-cost manufacturing countries such as China is not only the lack of craftsmanship or understanding of perfectionism but also one of the fundamental conditions for the finest cashmere: clean water. Namely, from the Alps. The concoction which is in China’s rivers and streams would ruin each one of the carefully chosen yarns from COLOMBO on the spot. It needs a lot of water baths, rinses, boiling and water walking, with the addition of wild plant seed heads, before cashmere attains the lightness and suppleness required to be allowed to leave the company. This in order to then be used by the top fashion labels of the world.
In the meantime COLOMBO itself produces in Ghemme. The noble weaves can be found under the identical brand name COLOMBO in selected high end shops. TRUFFLEDIGGER is honoured to be one of them. Perhaps because TRUFFLEDIGGER like COLOMBO also thinks along the same lines in its philosophy of life?
Roberto Colombo, who with his brother Giancarlo, has steered COLOMBO into the absolute top league of fine weavers of cashmere wool, once said something very clever: "Fashion", he said, "lets you appear to be someone you are not. Real luxury however lets you be who you really are."