thomas mason

Sourcing the Top Fabric; Albini Group Is One of Italy's Finest Mills

Go behind the scenes of the Albini Group’s Mill in Albino Italy just outside Bergamo and see what makes the world’s greatest cotton for dress shirts.

McGregor Madden and Enrico De Pieri in the vault. These fabric collections can be over 150 years old. It’s nice to see that while there has been massive innovation in the way cloth is made - a lot of the styles that were popular then are still popular now.

McGregor Madden and Enrico De Pieri in the vault. These fabric collections can be over 150 years old. It’s nice to see that while there has been massive innovation in the way cloth is made - a lot of the styles that were popular then are still popular now.

Sourcing Stories: The “Kings of Cotton”

It’s milled in Italy, but why are Egyptian-cotton fibres so sought after?

When the founder of modern day Egypt, King Mohammed Ali, brought with him seeds from Brazil (cotton & linen) and the Caribbean (cotton and linen) in the early 1800s - he found that in the Nile River Delta farmers were able to grow the longest, finest and softest cotton fibres. Long fibres make it easier and thus more cost efficient to produce. Ancient Egyptians were growing cotton and linen since antiquity and the new seeds yielded global leading results.

Extra-long fibres also make for a more durable garment. And the most noticeable benefit? The supremely soft “hand” touch. Think of extra-long staple fibers in cotton as the cashmere of shirting fibres. This is why Egyptian cotton is considered “the cotton of kings.”

The entrepreneurs of the Albini family as well as U.K. businessman Thomas Mason started sourcing the fibres from Egypt in the 1800s and the rest is history. More than a century of innovation has yielded the results you see today. When Albini Group purchased Thomas Mason more scale was reached. A lot of the workers are second or even third generational employees. The knowledge is not easily transferrable and passed down through the firm’s institutional knowledge.

Today the Albini Group leases thousands of acres from the Egyptian government to ensure they can provide sustainable farming and ethical development working conditions for the people. It is a win-win for Hall Madden to be able to source shirting fabric from Albini. Our clients receive the best cotton and linen shirts and Albini can continue their mission to create the best fabrics.

In this photo McGregor is shown the capacity speeds that super long fibres produce and also what happens when one thread breaks. He also learned first hand on how to repair.

What kind of innovation has their been since computers?

In the “old days” mills would have to create their own swatch books and samples by glueing different pieces together to create just one swatch. This time intensive practice made it very difficult to scale out the business. Tailors would travel by boat to global locations. You would be lucky to see your bespoke garments in 6-12 months.

This is why in the past you didn’t see a lot of checks, but mostly solids and stripes. Making a check swatch was nearly impossible at the time.

Recently, Albini has harkened back to the old days of bespoke tailoring by making it easy to make one-off garments. When a client commissions a shirt the fabric, for which there are over thousands to choose from, is cut and shipped to our factory the next business day and arrives in as little as three days.

Why did we go visit Albini?

Well first off we are friends of the brand. We are also the fastest growing made-to-measure client they have ever had. For this visit, Albini Group wanted to spend time showing off their new sustainability and organic cotton initiatives — values we share with them. They also proudly unveiled their new women’s collection that we will be releasing in conjunction with our soon to be launched women’s line in the fall. Hall Madden will be the first U.S. brand to carry the women’s collection.

The processes Albini group has innovated for centuries yielded 15 million meters at a net revenue of over 130 million Euros for 2018. For 2019, the Mill is laser focused on providing support to made-to-measure and bespoke clothiers because let’s face it: Why would the fabric of kings be sourced for off-the-rack garments?

When you commission a garment from Hall Madden using Thomas Mason or Albini cotton you are not buying it, you are not wearing it, you are simply taking care of it.
— Enrico De Pieri, Albini Group Director

View more images from Albini Mill

Thomas Mason 1796 Bespoke Custom Shirting

 

Hall Madden is proud to announce that we are one a few selected custom clothing businesses in the world to carry this prestigious collection in its entirety.

 
Hall Madden X Thomas Mason 1796 Bespoke Collection

Hall Madden X Thomas Mason 1796 Bespoke Collection

British inspired, with a touch of eccentricity, Thomas Mason Bespoke collection is characterized by double twisted fabrics, crafted using only the finest yarns from the extra-long staple Egyptian cotton.

Founded in Lancashire in 1796 by entrepreneur Thomas Mason, the eponymous label has been a landmark for elegance and quality, in the world of English shirting traditions.
Acquired by Albini Group in 1992, Thomas Mason reinterprets its rich heritage in a modern and original way, through precious and colourful double twisted fabrics, crafted using the exceptional Giza 45 and Giza 87 Egyptian cotton and the refined linen from Normandy.

Hall Madden has been working directly with Albini Group since 2018.


Questions about Thomas Mason fabric or our custom shirt program? Call (872)228-9910 or email support@hallmadden.com to speak with us.


Thomas Mason for Hall Madden

Thomas Mason's Bespoke Collection

A shirt made with Thomas Cloth fabric feels substantial. It is a dynamic cloth that instantly looks upscale to the eye. It is for this reason we have decided to partner with one of Europe's elite mills. 

Founded more than two-and-a-half centuries ago, Thomas Mason is one of the most recognizable names in luxury shirting.  While Thomas Mason today is milled under the Italian Albini Group, it still remains a distinct British identity with bold checks sitting in collections alongside a variety of crisply-woven business solids in various weaves. 

Explore the collection online and come experience it in person at your next appointment. Pricing is 4 shirts/$1000. Expect an expanded offering for 2018.