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INNOVATION AND CRAFTSMANSHIP

Monday, February 16th, 2015

The evolution of the company through yarns, stitches of knitwear, blending of fabrics, i.e. the new frontier of the most advanced  processes: this is what can be read in the filigree, going over the history of Volcar, the company in  Brendola in the province of Vicenza founded in 1952 and today firmly projected on to international markets with the luxury segment. On this long journey of over sixty years, a significant turning-point came in 2001, thanks to the professional integration of the skills of  Daniele Volpato, the third generation of the founding family, and his wife Paola Ercego, who brought to the firm a long experience matured in fashion,  playing a fundamental role in innovating fit and quality of the product. “The entrepreneurial and knitwear culture of my husband and my competences and relations in fashion became integrated for a journey in which we both believed very firmly in and which brought about six years of continuous investments, before giving the hoped-for results,”  Paola Ercego  says today, who in the company is responsible for the collections. In this game, she stresses, “we had on our side the passion, the willingness and the competence of some  of our employees who believed with us in the change, helping us to give concrete legs to ideas and projects.” The turning-point, towards internationalization and close collaboration with high fashion, was built up through different actions and on different directions. “In the first place,” explains Ms. Ercego, “I wanted to capitalize on our archives,
by offering them to designers so that they could find inspiration in the knitwear stitches and fabrics preserved.”  Today, brands in New York, London, Paris and Milan draw on this heritage to give answers to a market which, overseas as well, is once again asking for and appreciating a  tailored garment and craftsmanship  value. “Our historical archives is updated every year correctly,” the entrepreneur stresses, “as the stitches are  inventoried only one year after they were used for articles which appeared in the boutiques.”
A second challenge which was started at the same time and won was that, which Ms. Ercego wanted, of looking for the paths from the technological and manual skills points of view  to combine different fabrications. “If we have succeeded, as was the case, this passage would really have represented a turning-point in an evolution of value,” she continues. The journey was not easy, but the determination and conviction of being on the right path  allowed them to hit the target. Designers here have the chance to see not only knitwear made,” she highlights, “but garments that require different fabrications. We have been able to bond fabric, which by its nature is a still world, to knitwear, which by its nature, moves.”
To reach a production of excellence in this sector with several simultaneous fabrications, “has taken years and the goal was also reached thanks to our employees in the firm who believed in it and supported with us the challenging times of this innovative evolution,” highlights Ms. Ercego.

To reach a production of excellence in this sector with several simultaneous fabrications, “has taken years and the goal was also reached thanks to our employees in the firm who believed in it and supported with us the challenging times of this innovative evolution,” highlights Ms. Ercego. Naturally the story of this company does not stop here. Today Volcar already has the fourth generation in the company with Filippo Volpato – s Daniele’s son – and is continuously exploring ways for new possibilities of work. “I am working to put Volcar in touch with small craft companies of great value which work in leather and hand-woven fabrics,” explains Ms. Ercego, illustrating the new areas of research, “ with the objective of uniting our and their knowledge and capacities to offer the world of fashion original solutions in combinations for the production of garments.”

IMG_5671Ms. Ercego has already begin to put this idea into practice on the occasion of Pitti Filati, the event [on yarns] held in Florence at the end of January.

“We produced some garments in synergy with a small firm in the province of Udine that produces hand-woven fabrics. They made the fabric, we created the knitted trimming of the garments. These are interesting solutions,” concludes Ms. Ercego, “as fabric and finishes can be customized for each designer label.”

Excellence, presence and enthusiasm

“Dynamic and reactive, to best interpret the ideas of designers.” This is how the entrepreneur Daniele Volpato, the third generation of the founders of Volcar, sums up the characteristics of customer service which distinguish the company. “After the industrial hallmark of the 1970s and 80s, this company has returned to a dimension which combines traditional craftsmanship with the most sophisticated technology”. The reactive capacity of Volcar, now completely dedicated to high fashion and the luxury market, draws its lifeblood from the “solid professional competences on which we can count in the firm and on the very wide possibilities of fabrications that we can produce, from crochet to the tech variants.” Giving further value to this specificity, is the constant availability of the owners, whom clients can always contact for prompt responses. “Our wish,” continues Volpato. “ is to be increasingly present on the fashion runways with our fabrications. We believe in them.” With this spirit and with these objectives, “ we face up to the wager for the future which is given by the capacity to construct and bring about the generational change both at the level of ownership and management , and at the level of workforce and employees.” On this last point, In recent years Volcar has employed both workers with experience who have been able to update their skills in line with the company specialization and enthusiastic and capable personnel at the start of their career. “The desire to work, to make progress and the sense of belonging to a project to be shared is decisive in people,” concludes the entrepreneur.

The fourth generation is luxury

The hard way up which he himself defines “long” but considers “essential” because “our product changes every season and the company is complex, from the purchase of the yarn to knitting and production and finishing of the knitted garments.”. Filippo Volpato, twenty-seven years old, with already seven years in the family business, represents the fourth generation of Volcar and in this period has made his mark felt, especially in the management of company processes and in investments for the technological part. “As far as the machines are concerned, the contemporary models are even excessive in the capacity of working in multifunction, i.e. up to 5-6 finenesses at the same time and with several colours,” he says, highlighting the automation of some processes. As is fitting for a future captain of industry, training on the job for Filippo Volpato means having to measure up to multiple situations. “I go from operating the fork lift truck to administrative questions very easily,” he confirms, “as well as monitoring the external workshops that work exclusively for us, from the study of the yarns to purchase, to the pricelists for customers.” Alongside his father Daniele Volpato, he has been to the most important trade fairs, in Europe and in America, getting a good knowledge of raw materials and the clients of Volcar, i.e. high fashion. “WE now work only for the luxury segment and we tend to increasingly raise the bar,” he stresses. “This effort is repaid by growth: we are taking people on as the market of luxury knitwear is resisting and moves where the economy is flourishing,” he concludes.

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