Our history

A journey lasting
four generations

Everything began in 1895 when Angelo Colombo started on his journey by creating the first spinning mill. Over time, the process went through different stages and proceeded with the transformation from “Silk Spinning” to the processing of textiles such as “wool weaving”. Already by the end of the 1800s the Colombo family had taken on the processing of silk worms in Lombardy. The farmers living near the spinning mill cultivated mulberry trees on which the silk worms fed and then took all the cocoons to the mill where, thanks to the experience of the director Angelo Colombo, their quality could be assessed. The process continued with washing and spinning by the “spinners” and the thread thus obtained was taken to be woven. In the early 1900s with the continuous demand for silk for the war effort, the Colombo family acquired a spinning mill in Galliera Veneta in the province of Padua. Angelo Colombo moved there with his wife Savina Sommaruga and they had three children: their sons Mario and Giuseppe (who later moved to Gandia in Spain to manage another spinning mill there) and their daughter Placida. The family business was divided between Lombardy and The Veneto with Mario taking charge of spinning mills in Villa Romanò in the province of Como and in Chignolo Po’ in the province of Pavia.

The fundamental stages


The beginnings: Angelo Colombo begins his journey in the world of silk, working for the company Ratti, in Como.

1904 - 1940

The spinning mill: he acquires and manages his first spinning mill in Galliera Veneta, Padua and becomes a silk producer. Later, together with his son Mario, he buys up mills in Chignolo, Pavia and in Villa Romanò, Como.


The expansion: Mario Colombo takes over and completes the construction of the mill in Badoere, Treviso, making it the first large company in the area with more than 120 spinners.


Brand: Giuseppe Colombo, Mario’s son, creates the brand Nicki Colombo; with his line of fashion accessories, he adds further vigour to the quality and design of the products.


The fourth generation begins with Mario Colombo alongside his father Giuseppe, creating new synergies of networks and connectivity.


Carlo Colombo, Mario’s brother, renovates the hand-looms of the nineteenth century, which had lain unused for more than twenty years, and begins production for a niche of accessories and high fashion textiles, counting on the excellence of the fibres and 100% made in Italy. This makes the base for the creation of a collection of looms and a weavers’ school which is in constant evolution.

Appunti del bisnonno Colombo Tessuti d’arte

In the mid-1930s, the company by then developing steadily, acquired the spinning mill in Badoere, Treviso giving work to more than 120 people and thus creating the first industrial enterprise of the area. In the early 1940s, Lombardy was becoming more and more industrialized so the family decided to concentrate everything in Badoere and close down the other premises.
Here Mario Colombo and his wife Erina Gianola transformed the company into a textile factory. The change was necessary as the price of silk had fallen owing to the considerable importation of silk from the East and the introduction of nylon. The process of change towards processing yarns started at the end of the 1940s; it began with working everything by hand, from babies’ blankets in wool and noble fibres to gloves and woollen hats. The work force was large and research and development formed the solid base of the family business. During these same years the company acquired hand-looms (together with an acquaintance, Elda Cecchele, who began her career in textiles then) to have a more craftsman-like production. In 1962, Giuseppe Colombo, Mario’s son, began the third generation of the company. Giuseppe specialized in accessories, making colours his winning tactic: pre-dyed yarns matched with great skill, a play on designs and embellishments. There were more and more collections of scarves, shawls, hats; he developed precious fashion accessories, using matching yarns in jacquard and inlays, introducing the brand Nicki Colombo.

Antica filanda Disegno e tessuto Colombina

In the year 2000, the fourth generation arrived with Giuseppe’s son, Mario. Thanks to his young spirit, he gave a new impulse to the company with a wish to make a name for himself as the custodian of quality, introducing the use of more modern knitting machines and adding a collection of knitted accessories. A further and important step towards a distinctive, unique production was the work of Mario’s brother Carlo, who had spent some time as an architect, and now reintroduced the hand-looms, bringing together the know-how of Italian craftsmanship and a qualitative research in design and special materials. With their peculiar qualities and the possibility of personalisation, hand-looms allowed the company to recover that never forgotten capacity for manual dexterity, developing on the one hand special projects and experimentation and on the other beginning the production of high fashion textiles for international designers.