“Once you’ve slept on fine Italian bed linens, you cannot sleep on anything else” is a comment we’ve have heard many times over the years. The experience of sleeping on Italian linens is so exquisite that other bed linens become immediately, noticeably, inferior.
Today “Made in Italy” has become a benchmark for high quality bed linens. Unfortunately, not every step of the manufacturing process needs to be done in Italy, yet the product can still be labeled “Made in Italy.”
Here’s why: if the majority of the production costs of a product are done in one country, then the European labeling laws allow that product to be labeled “Made in (Country).” The product does not have to say where the other production steps were made.
Let us explain how this relates to Italian bed linens. Generally speaking there are three steps involved in the production of Italian bed linens: 1) Weaving (which includes buying yarns), 2) Finishing (bleaching, dyeing, mercerizing, etc.) and 3) Sewing. Of those three steps, the first, weaving, is the most expensive. If you wanted to reduce the production cost of your bed linens and still be allowed to use a “Made in Italy” label, the most effective way of doing so would be to have the product woven somewhere other than Italy. Have the cloth shipped to Italy for finishing and sewing, and the cost of those two manufacturing steps would certainly exceed the cost of the inexpensive weaving being done in another country. The resulting product can legally be labeled “Made in Italy.” Caveat emptor: this happens.
However, when the weaving process is compromised, it is likely the yarns and the raw material (cotton) have been compromised as well and no matter how good the finishing and sewing may be, the final product is inferior.
We have heard stories of consumers who have purchased “Made in Italy” bedding that has been compromised in this fashion and found the bed linens to be nice, but nothing special. True “Made in Italy” bed linens are special because all of the production steps occur in Italy.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Question everything. If the price of some “Made in Italy” item seems unreasonably inexpensive, ask about the country of origin for the weaving, finishing and sewing, and while you’re at it, ask about the quality of the cotton.
In the meantime, rest assured, our pledge to the consumer is that “Belisari” linens are truly “Made in Italy.”