Over four-thousand needles are programmed to work in harmony in the circular knitting machines that produce the raw fabric from which Velocio jerseys are made. The ultra fine yarns and precise sequencing create much of the performance and feel of our jersey collection, from Signature & SE to Ultralight, the RECON Micromodal Jersey and the recently launched CONCEPT Jersey. Borgini Jersey is not far from Lake Como, in the Northwest of the region of Lombardy and it sits as one of the most innovative and experienced circular knitting mills in the world. We choose their fabrics due to their incredible quality, sustainability and close proximity to our manufacturing facility.
It’s easy to feel comfortable at Borgini. It’s a family owned and operated business, pride and their passion is apparent in how they present each article, how the process and traceability is considered and into which garments these fabrics are made. If there is a better way to develop fabrics and materials, Borgini finds it.
Borgini's sample room and stock department offers endless possibilites for developing prototypes for testing. We hand pick every fabric, develop prototypes and spend hundreds of hours testing before beginning the production process.
Similarly, the setting is perfect. A clean production floor revealing whirling machines and intently focused people: it is a mix of art and science. When we first spoke to Andrea about shooting photos in the mill he was welcoming and transparent: "We are not secretive about the machinery - it's no problem to take photos here,” He explained calmly. "Our people are our proprietary ingredient. It’s their experience that makes Borgini special." (And he's right.)
The production floor houses about 60 circular knitting machines of varying ability and capacity - each configured to produce different categories of the Borgini line but its what goes into the machines, the care, the thread (hung from countless spools feeding the knitting machine) and the intention that goes into every production.
A large number of Velocio fabrics are knit on Monarch machines, in 44 and 50 gauge; incredibly fine guage microfiber yarns that produce some of the most advanced fabrics available. That requires an incredible level of sophistication and detail. Each of the 4,700 needles used per machine are replaced every three months, a painstaking and deliberate process.
Shown above is one of the tiny hook needles found on the 50 gauge machines.
“We don’t want to make average materials,” explained Andrea. “We want to make high end, fine fabrics.”
The synchronization and configuration of the knitting heads is what produces the many patterns and textures. The yarn is so fine, it resembles a spider web spun around the machine off of a tree of spools. We work with Borgini for their innovation, commitment to sustainable manufacturing and passion for creating the highest quality material.
There is history in the corners of every road in the Lombardy region where Borgini is based. Il Lombardia remains a spring monument internationally known amongst race fans but every day of the year, riders pedal through the surreal landscape around Lake Como in the northwest corner. It’s over theses winding climbs, the plunging descents, the carnival ride twisting over the mediterranean that a rider pays homage to history and tradition.
Take for example the Muro di Sormano which averages a 17% grade and reaches 25% in places. It stands as a testament to cycling culture and experience having been absent competition for over forty years from the late 1960s. Reconditioned in 2006, it bears quote from riders of the age but frame materials and gear ratios today look (and feel) different. Tradition meets the modern age with the same passionate drive that governs the knitting machines of Borgini, the sight seeing tours of tourists and local riders and the occasional Giro d’Italia stage that graces the wall of Sormano.
Pictured: the church of the Madonna di Ghisallo, a working catholic church at the summit of the the Madonna di Ghisallo, an often climbed summit in the Lake Como region famous for Grand Tour stops and named after the legend of a Marian apparition in 8th century.
There is continuity in even the stops: coffee, tiramisu, a bit of seltzer water and a conversation before inevitably still more riding amidst the Lombardy poplar and well traveled roads.