The early stages (1901-1935)
The origins of Erica Industria Tessile can be found in “Cotonificio di Busto Arsizio” (Busto Arsizio Cotton mill, province of Varese, Northern Italy) which in turn evolved out of a textile business set up by Ottorino Maderna as early as 1901. The factory boasted a modern structure of both automatic and jacquard looms for the creation of complex designs, producing fabrics for third parties.
From “Cotonificio di Busto Arsizio” to “Cotonificio Erica” (1936-1955)
In 1936, the joint-stock company “Cotonificio di Busto Arsizio” was founded, with operations located in Busto Arsizio, in viale Duca d’Aosta no. 6. In 1942 the company started exporting its products abroad. In 1955 the business continued under the name of “Cotonificio Erica Spa” with offices and warehousing in viale Duca d’Aosta 6, Busto Arsizio and manufacturing facilities (spinning and weaving) in Crugnola, Mornago (province of Varese).
Development and changes (1956-1980)
Cotonificio Erica continued building the business inherited from Cotonificio di Busto Arsizio, which was above all for the manufacturing and sale of fabrics for the home. As time went by, it gradually widened its activities to the clothing sector. Its customers were primarily wholesalers purchasing fabrics for resale to the retail sector. During the seventies Cotonificio Erica’s export business grew, but its true transformation into a modern business focusing on the fashion sector really began in 1975 when important innovations were introduced such as the creation of collections dedicated to women’s and children’s clothing, based on the printing of patterned designs and the use of better quality weaving and spinning. The change was reflected in the type of customer, which was represented less by wholesalers and more by garment makers.
A modern business in the fashion sector (1981- to present day)
At the start of the 1980s the company changed its name to “Erica Industria Tessile Spa”. Over the years, the company has continuously employed updated technology for the printing of fabrics and it can no longer be considered a typical cotton mill: it has became tied to the Como silk tradition, focusing on a more advanced and creative product, developing relationships with world famous stylists. Thus the creation of personalized fabrics for individual customers has progressed alongside industrial manufacturing of prêt-à-porter or ready-to-wear collections. Via a network of agents and direct salesmen, the business has been established in Italy and abroad. In parallel to this, a truly historical library of fashion has been built up over the years, comprised mainly of French books containing tens of thousands of models and designs covering a period from the eighteenth century to modern times. Today, it represents a precious source of knowledge which may be consulted by customers. Since the start of the new millennium, relationships have been strengthened with large industrial groups working in the mid-range ready-to-wear sector, with the company supplying products enriched with particularly detailed prints as well as reliable services. Fifty percent of sales are now derived from exports which are not only made to markets in developed countries, including the United States and Japan, but also emerging markets. Since 2005 the company has been working with some of the best Design and Fashion schools and it welcomes new young talent, on a short term basis, to work in the business.