Interview with Luigi Martelli

Luigi Martelli
Luigi Martelli
Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili.
Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili.

I believe Italy is at the first place for what concerns laundering...
Luigi Martelli, the President of Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili tells about the prospects of textile finishing, in an interview with Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Manushi Gandhi. Synopsis: Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili is an important international player in the fashion sector. Since the mid-sixties, the company is involved in developing innovative and advanced dyeing and finishing techniques. It was born as an artisanal laundry. Today, it has 8 factories in Europe and in the Mediterranean basin, for a total of 120.000 sq meters of productive space and more than 3000 employers. Luigi Martelli is the President of Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili, a company headquartered in Italy. He started his career at an early age by helping his father in his family business of dyeing clothes. After primary school Luigi Martelli fully dedicated himself to his 4 dry cleaner shops and kept on investing in it. In 1965, he decided to separate from the family business by transferring its activity in Via dei Maceri. This was his taking the first step to create the empire he manages today. Excerpts:

Can you please share with us some interesting aspects of the history of Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili? Since the company’s establishment till date what have been the major transformations?

I believe Martelli Group’s history is more about growth than change. We began working in the mid 60s when the dyeing of clothes was emerging on the market as a leading technique. In the following years the company started to expand constantly with new offices and fields of specialization, such as the aging techniques applied to jeans that still represent one of our core businesses. In the last decade new facilities were opened – now there are four in Italy and four abroad – and we plan to keep on this track in the future too.

What are those social phenomena or factors that have a great impact on textile finishes and greatly influence the demand? Can you site few examples?

Most of the time change is not promoted by the consumers rather by the industry itself. Let’s take for example the eco-friendly approach that is currently driving the whole society: many are trying to live a more sustainable life, however, according to some researches, few customers really ask questions about the processes and the treatments that have been used to create what they are about to buy. On the contrary, every single phase of the industry now pays great attention to what comes first. Therefore I believe we can say trends are the result of lots of different factors all influencing each others.

Apart from denim which are the other fabrics (or areas) where there is more scope for advanced types of textile finishes?

It’s true that we are specialized in denim, however the Martelli Group has always worked with any kind of fabric, from the last hi-tech materials to natural fibres such as cashmere, wool or leather, treating them both with natural and special dyeing techniques.

What notable efforts have been made by your company to make fabric finishing more eco-friendly?

As a group we have been committed for years in researching technical, productive and creative solutions with low impact on environment or people: not only we adopt strict measures for the safety of our operators, but all our factories are equipped for emissions control, waste disposal and the pursuance of eco-compatible processes to reduce the use of chemicals, energy and water. However, today this is not enough: here is why we developed D.ECO.R, a brand-new platform dedicated to research and use of eco-friendly solutions such ozone washings, ice finishing and laser processes which we have been implementing in all our work structures and used every day together with natural dyes and resins. Our goal is both answering to some market’s clear requests at the same time showing to the whole industry that producing in a cleaner and safer way is definitely possible. Today fashion is more and more tied with some sort of consciousness that in the past was mainly just ignored. I believe this is exactly the path everyone should follow from now on, that is why Martelli will keep on investing in product and technical research, in order for us to find always new creative and aesthetic solutions that are not only outstanding but also increasingly mindful of the environment, the people and the resources we use everyday: goals that we have already achieved and made available to anyone wishing to produce according to these benchmarks.
Published on: 02/12/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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