The story of Lanificio Cini began long, long ago. Harking back to the traditional, oncethriving and prosperous antique wool working arts of the Venetians, in 1830 Giacomo Tarma (also known as “Zuanne Tarma”), then a producer of hemp rope, decided to make a qualitative leap by starting a new business. The Austro-Hungarian Emperor, then ruling Venice, had conceded fiscal incentives in line with the free port status, facilitating this business initiative. Buildings between San Zan Degolà and the Grand Canal, in San Giacomo Dall’Orio, became home to a workshop, warehouses, offices and worker houses, where the production began of “strasse, rasse, felzine e schiavine”, (fabric, rasse cloth, gondola covers and coarse blankets).* From the beginnings of the company, Giacomo Tarma hired Francesco Cini, a nephew of his governess whom he considered like a son, to work alongside him. When Tarma died in 1839, Francesco Cini was named as his sole heir. Besides the emotional bond between them, Giacomo Tarma had always had a strong conviction that Francesco Cini was the only person who could successfully carry on the business of the woollen mill.
Besides the emotional bond between them, Giacomo Tarma had always had a strong conviction that Francesco Cini was the only person who could successfully carry on the business of the woollen mill. The company changed its name, becoming Ditta Francesco Cini erede di Giacomo Tarma. The business carried on in Venice until 1871 when, 5 years after the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy, the fiscal incentives of the free port were revoked. The factory transferred to Ceneda (now Vittorio Veneto), where new machinery was able to utilize the energy produced from the Meschio River. Only the warehouses and administrative offices remained in Venice, up until the start of the twentieth century when all parts of the business were transferred definitively to Vittorio Veneto. One century later, the company, still owned by the Cini family, returned to Venice. In a very singular way, and not by chance, the old woollen mill’s name and business were transferred to Sandro Zara, with whom the Cini company had been collaborating for some time, and who also acquired the precious archives containing trade secrets concerning the different woollen fabrics. With the help of his family and other associates, Sandro Zara revived the enterprise, while respecting the centuries old tradition. A select few clients around the world are able to purchase blankets, berets and clothing created according to the ancient Venetian wool- working tradition. Thanks to the invaluable heritage of the company archives, the precious weaves of another age are recreated every year, rendering the collections of the Cini brand unique and eternal.