Manufacturing In Piemont
Just to your left, when you climb the stairs from the factory floor where our apparel is made, there’s a type of computer display: it looks dated, roughly twenty years old and reading out the wattage produced by the solar array on the roof. There is enough power to keep all the machinery running: the dozens of sewing machines, the espresso machine in the conference room where prototype changes and final collections are decided, and the digital printers and presses pulling bright swatches and patterns. This is where cycling apparel has been made for decades.
“Brad (Sheehan) is always thinking,” says Ivano, the production manager and part of the second-generation family that owns the company. It’s clear from the way he hangs over the word that thinking is a compliment – though a slightly begrudging one.
“He’s very exact and it makes us good partners.” Ivano and his wife, Graziella, who is responsible for sourcing and development with Velocio, have a shared energy as they work through the factory. It’s clear they are also always thinking, sorting out how the apparel can be improved – what can evolve.
Every garment we make begins in design and development in the CAD department, where our design and specifications are translated into patterns using 3D modeling. It’s the oversight of experienced pattern makers that brings this process to life and imbues a greater quality to the final product.
The graphics department, which handles all print design specifications, uses 3D modeling to layout the design and pattern to ensure it matches the design specifications. This allows the team to check alignment, color and position prior to printing.
Designs are digitally printed on sublimation paper using the highest quality inks and large format printers. The printing room is controlled for humidity to ensure the paper remains flat enough for printing razor sharp designs.
Cut fabric is aligned by hand on the sublimation paper for printing. The sheets are then fed through the calendar rollers. Using heat and pressure, the ink is transferred to the fabric.
The fabric cutting process transfers the CAD pattern onto the fabric sheets, which are precision cut to ensure consistent sizing and fit.
A wide variety of capabilities allows us to apply the best processes for the function of the garment. Heat transfer logos are used on dyed lycra for our bib shorts (L). Silicone is applied using a specialized application process (R).
Roughly two dozen sewers sit at the machines, piecing together each jersey through the whirling mechanisms with practiced ease. These are among the most experienced garment makers in the industry and their craftsmanship is evident in every garment that leaves the manufacturer.
Every garment that leaves manufacturing represents decades of experience, testing, feedback, skill and attention to detail second to none. We take pride in every garment, how it's delivered to you, and how it will change your riding experience. We chose to work with our manufacturing partners because of their shared passion in what we do.
Continuity between the landscape, the riding, the facility and the clothing that comes out of it lies at the heart of our approach. In testing Velocio prototypes a few pedal strokes from where they are sewn amidst roads traveled many times over by cyclists, there’s a better feel, a smoothness in the transition from making to doing. It’s a better way to make high end cycling apparel.
Located in the heart of the Piemonte region, at the foot of the Aosta Valley, lush stands of grapes line long roads easy for getting lost. Small single lane gravel driveways traverse farmers' fields and offer a foil for the bright green of the hillsides. There are collectives of farmers that band together to sell cheese, wine and meat, generations of history combining to create something special from this place and this experience.
The character of the Italian hillside changes with time of day or distance traveled. The roads pitch up starkly out of the valley and twist and wind with the land until they pitch out over mountain passes and ancient tunnels. This kind of riding doesn't feel impossible, but there’s a steady stream of local riders, pedaling confidently and offering a half smile and short greeting – ciao.
Riding north towards Biella, an area famous for its wool mills and tailored merino suits, you'll pass through small villages with cobbled streets linked together with vineyard, stone walls and poppy fields.
Traveling north through Biella, the elevation gain is noticeable heading towards La Galleria di Rosazza – a pass difficult to explain without a photo, that seems to rise up out of town without warning. These roads, closed in winter due to snow at the higher elevations, provide access to some of the most scenic areas in Northern Italy.