Tessitura Monti: Globalized Quality

he fact that product flows can shift is evident with regard to fabric production at
Italy-based Tessitura Monti S.p.A. The company’s new mill in Kolhapur, India, which works to the
same quality standards as those employed in Italy, has installed machines from Germany-based Goller
Textilmaschinen GmbH for the entire wet finishing area. Tessitura Monti made the decision to use
the Goller wet finishing equipment in India based on its positive and established experience using
the machinery in Italy.

Tessitura Monti was founded as a weaving mill in 1911. Since then, the company has produced
fabrics for shirts, women’s blouses and children’s clothing, as well as home textiles. Until two
years ago, the company also manufactured yarns, but closed these activities in order to focus on
weaving and dyeing operations.

According to Dr. Paolo Monti, company director and head of finishing, the F.lli Monti S.p.A.
holding company currently has sales of some 100 million euros (US$136.6 million), of which 65
percent relate to exports. The three weaving mills in Maserada, Italy; the Czech Republic; and
India each produce one third of total production amounting to 16 million meters of fabric annually.
All the Italian and Czech fabrics are finished in Maserada; the Indian production is sold in its
entirety to international customers and to the Indian market.

Dr. Paolo Monti, director and head of finishing, F.lli Monti S.p.A. holding company

Excellent Reputation

Tessitura Monti enjoys a reputation as a high-quality supplier of shirt fabrics, and the
vast majority of its customers are shirt manufacturers. The company produces 95 percent of its
fabrics from dyed yarns, and largely uses 100-percent cotton yarns. Fine linen yarns are also
utilized for the summer collections, and 50/50 cotton/wool blends are used for the winter

“My grandfather’s weaving mill produced cheap fabrics for bed linen and working clothes,”
Monti said. “Nets were also manufactured. Production was expanded between the two world wars, and
at that time the company had more than 1,000 looms. Fortunately, the production facilities in
Maserada were not damaged during World War II, and this meant that work resumed relatively quickly.
Production in the 1950s was largely focused on dyed yarn terry products.

“The switch to 100-percent cotton fabrics for men’s shirts took place in the 1960s,” Monti
continued. “Due to the prior experience with high-quality, fine, yarn-dyed articles, this change
was completed smoothly, and standards improved steadily. Moreover, linen yarns were introduced in
the 1980s and remain a part of current production.”

External Production Expansion

The company decided to extend production to other countries in 2000, with the choice falling
on India and the Czech Republic. The reasons are relatively evident — Tessitura Monti wanted and
needed to meet the demands of the local markets.

“We produce exactly the same products in India, on precisely the same machines,” Monti said.
“ It is impossible to differentiate between the European and Indian fabrics. Moreover, in order to
secure this identical quality, our specialists from Italy visit India on a monthly basis.”

The Tessitura Monti plant in Maserada, Italy, has a Goller washing machine with six

Creativity Is Vital

Monti sees marketing as being the biggest problem of the past 20 years. “In view of
globalization, we have to offer increasingly large collections,” he said. “Everything has to be
done at growing speed, and quality requirements are also steadily rising. Today, we have to be a
genuine all-rounder, and the Indians are also demanding specialities at the highest level. This
direction also corresponds with our typical Italian corporate philosophy, ‘Non mollare,’ which
means never ceasing to maintain quality.”

The collection contains more than 70 diverse qualities, which also must be subjected to a
variety of finishes. Monti described easy-care and non-iron as important characteristics. “We have
to retain a leading position with regard to the creation of new products. We also set priorities in
the development area, with the aim of remaining that vital one step ahead and constantly offering
the market something new. We are intensively involved with nanotechnology, which demands completely
new dyes. We believe this area possesses great potential, as the finished fabrics offer very
different aspects to those finished using conventional methods.”

Twenty people are employed in the “ideas department” — which in view of the huge collection
and the related massive expenditure, is an absolute must. “Our customers know that we offer the
biggest collections twice a year, as well as providing the ongoing development of special articles
for certain customers,” Monti said. “Of these articles, 25 to 30 percent can be supplied from
stock.” Recently, the company with great success has launched fabrics using Ne 200/2 twists.

The Machine Pool

The finishing department can process the complete range of cotton and blended fabrics, as
well as provide surface finishing such as calendering and emerizing. The facility in Maserada
employs a Goller washing machine with six washing compartments.

“We were in the process of selecting machinery for our new plant in India, which included
washing and mercerization systems,” Monti said. “We thought, as we are already working with Goller
in Maserada, then why not in India, too? We carried out extensive tests with mercerization and
washing tests using Goller machines, and the results were extremely positive. The next task was to
discuss the subsequent steps, and during this procedure, we sensed that our relations with the
people from Goller were constantly improving and that the levels of mutual trust were steadily

Tessitura Monti has been operating with the Goller machines for a year in Maserada. “We are
completely satisfied,” Monti said. “There are no problems, and this also applies to our relations
with Goller’s representatives in Italy, with whom we enjoy excellent teamwork. All in all, we are

Reduced Water Consumption

The operation in India uses a Goller-Desiza desizing unit, an Effecta washing machine with
four compartments — which is the same model as is employed in Italy, where a machine with six
compartments is in operation — along with a Perfecta cold wet-in-wet mercerization system. This
year, Monti will process 5 million meters of fabric in Kolhapur, a figure that is set to rise to 10
million meters next year.

“We have had the same positive experience in our Indian plant,” Monti said. “The washing
machine is working well, as is the heating system. Moreover, we have no creases in the fabrics, and
one cannot ask for more. Of special importance for us is the fact that we now use 30 percent less
water than in the past, which is a sizeable amount. The mercerization system is also running
smoothly, and we have been able to combine our experience with that of the Goller experts. The
layout of the equipment is simple and precisely matches our operations, which saves a great deal of
time during cleaning. Everything is clean, operating smoothly and allowing problem-free

Goller machines operate smoothly.

Market Situation In Light Of Globalization

As a member of the company’s executive management, Monti is responsible for the entire
finishing area. Since obtaining a doctorate in chemistry in 1982, he has been working in the
entirely family-owned company as a representative of the third generation.

“At present, the market situation is much better than it was a few years ago,” Monti said. “
The demand for top quality and new products has increased, and customer attitudes have also
altered. Today, many customers produce the same products in various plants around the world.
Everyone is looking for the same quality, irrespective of where the goods originate. For example,
our customers want dimensional stability of 0.5 percent. And although these demands are continuing
to rise, we are well-equipped to deal with them.”

Up to now, Tessitura Monti was very export-oriented, selling 65 to 70 percent of its
production internationally. However, considering the global flow of products, these figures are
becoming increasingly blurred. “In view of our production in various countries, this aspect of our
business has shifted,” Monti said. “For major customers such as Marks & Spencer, Prada, Hugo
Boss or Banana Republic, we send fabrics to a range of destinations. We have more than 1,500
customers worldwide who anticipate smooth service of the highest quality from us.”

Monti says that at present, the top seller among men’s shirts is provided with articles
using Ne 200/2 twists. For women’s blouses, the current hit is formed by blends of cotton with
polyester or Lycra®, the so-called mono- or bi-elastic “comfort fabrics.” Moreover, fabrics
finished using nanotechnology are attracting increasing interest.

Maintaining Constant Standards

Tessitura Monti is recognized as a market leader, but the competition is becoming ever
tougher, and the company works hard to maintain its position. “We have a long history, and the
retention of our experience and expertise at the highest level constitutes our everyday
objectives,” Monti said. “We cannot afford to relax in this connection. We have a highly motivated
and professional team with young people who are focused on the market of today and tomorrow. We are
always receptive to new customer wishes and seek to retain our role as a leading European company
that is also a global player. It is to this end that we constantly give our all.”

May/June 2007