The Prato textile district

Quality, technique, tradition and innovation

The Prato district has medieval origins; in continuous evolution, today it is the largest textile center in Europe and one of the most important worldwide centers for the production of wool fabrics, knitting yarns, textile items for the clothing, footwear, furnishing and for technical uses. More than 9,000 textile companies operate in the district, 5,000 of which are artisan companies.

Prato’s qualification in the production of fabrics dates back to the thirteenth century, when the city already knew how to distinguish itself in textile production thanks above all to the natural resources available. In this period, the city was known as the “capital of rags” because of the prohibition imposed by Florence on the creation of high-quality products. As a result, companies were forced to produce medium-low level fabrics.

The economic and political crisis of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries marked a decline of the textile activities, which only resumed in the last years of the eighteenth century. In the second half of the nineteenth century, there was a transition from craftsmanship to industrial production systems, with the introduction of new and revolutionary machinery.

After the Second World War, an evolution of the textile sector changed the internal organization of the production system; gradually, the production has increasingly been based on the division of labor between small businesses, each specialized in a distinct and specific activity.

Today, from being the “capital of rags”, the city of Prato is famous for being at the forefront and for producing new, unique and quality fabrics.


Being part of the textile district of Prato is an added value as it allows diversification, high dynamism, versatility, and an almost unlimited production capacity.

Tradition and innovation characterize the Prato district. On one hand, the carded product represents culture and history, on the other, the companies operating in the district share the desire to keep up with the times, seeking to constantly evolve and renew themselves.

Quality, creativity and technique make the district the primary point of reference for the procurement of products from all over the world; in fact, one of the characteristics that makes the Prato district so important concerns relations with international markets.

Another fundamental element that distinguishes the district concerns the circular approach to the management of resources; since its origins, in fact, the concept of sustainability is closely linked to the modus operandi of the district. Through carding, it has been possible to use textile waste for the processing of new yarns and thus regenerate textile fibers; this recycling process has always represented a plus for the district and continues today to be the peculiarity that differentiates it from others.

From the recovery of fibers to the production of regenerated wool, cashmere and cotton, the district is concretely and daily committed in terms of sustainability.

Moreover, through the collaboration with GIDA spa, a company that deals with wastewater treatment and recovery, the district has the largest water recycling system in Europe. This is an aqueduct of about 60 km which has made possible to reduce the consumption of water and has guaranteed the possibility of not polluting it.


Lanificio Bisentino is proud to be part of the textile district of Prato. By working and collaborating within the district we can offer our customers refined and sustainable products, a synthesis of heritage and innovation.