Perché Racale è chiamata la città delle calze

Because Racale is called the city of socks

Introduction to the history of Racale

In the province of Lecce in Puglia there is a city known as the city of socks . This city is Racale.

It has been called this since the 90s because over the years it has become one of the major cities of handcrafted hosiery in the various production aspects.

Precisely for this reason, in this article we have decided to tell a story that spans centuries and a tradition handed down from generation to generation until today.

The time has come to find out why Racale is known and known as the city of socks.

Racale city of socks: a centuries-old tradition

racale stockings

The tradition that makes Racale known as the city of socks has a long history. In Roman times the city was a post station on the Via Traiana.

It was during the following centuries that the city was governed by various lords and noble families, including the De Capite, the De Leo and the Del Tufo.

In the 18th century Racale was already famous for its wool and cotton processing and many families dedicated themselves to the production of handcrafted socks .

But it was in the 1900s that this tradition, handed down from generation to generation, transformed into something bigger, becoming an important part of the local economy over the years.

In the first fifty years of the twentieth century there were many wholesalers who sold stockings to ladies. The latter sewed them by hand and arranged them on their own. Often these materials were second-rate but with the work of the women of Racale the stockings acquired value and were sold in the markets of the city.

In the early 70s the first machines arrived from northern Italy thus allowing the birth of a new market and the growing birth of hosiery factories in the following years. There were conveyors, which departed from Racale, dedicated only to socks and yarns that arrived to deliver as far as Germany.

From the 1980s onwards, more and more machines began to arrive from Brescia, at that time the central hub of the footwear market in Italy. The union and dialogue between north and south has allowed Racale to be able to innovate its available means and to be able to start a large-scale production of hosiery.

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The golden years of the city of stockings

socks made in Italy

If there is a significant period for the city of Racale it is the 90s when there was a real boom in the hosiery market.

In fact, it was in this period that the number of hosiery factories present in the city and in the surrounding areas grew significantly, reaching approximately 300 hosiery factories operating in the area .

Some smaller, some larger, but all born to produce handcrafted socks. Before that time agriculture was the leading sector of the local economy. Suffice it to say that before the road that connected Racale to Taviano was blocked in the evening because all the movements of the potato wagons had to be made. You could not pass and you had to wait for the sorting. A town of 10,000 inhabitants that gained strength with agriculture.

With the agricultural crisis and that of the olive groves, many have switched to making socks. For a long time, everyone was also making socks at home.

In recent years the primacy has undoubtedly begun to have the production of handcrafted socks, marking a significant change and officially decreeing the association to Racale as the city of socks.

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The 2000s and the hosiery crisis

hosiery production

The beginning of the new millennium has given rise to a regression which has resulted in the closure of many hosiery factories in Racale. The economic crisis and globalization have pushed many companies to move to other countries to produce. Turkey is one of the nations chosen by many.

Of the 300 hosiery factories born in the 1990s, today only about twenty remain. However, there are those who continued to bet on Racale and stayed to carry on this long tradition.

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A bet made in Italy

Handcrafted socks

Today there are few production realities dedicated to the hosiery market, but those who have remained have embraced the cause of artisanal production and continue to carry on this tradition as a real mission.

Our hosiery factory is one of the realities that has chosen to stay in Racale and continue to promote the made in Italy and the quality of its handmade socks.

It was born in Racale in 1982, we were little more than a shop. It was the golden age of Italian hosiery factories, and Racale was one of the main manufacturing cities. After difficult years (with the 2008 crisis, 90% of the hosiery factories in the town closed) we chose to give new life to the noble Italian yarns, Nobile was born from this project.

Unlike other hosiery factories, the socks are not produced in an industrial way, but go through a quality control at each stage of production which combines the work of the machine with the manual work of the craftsman. Finally, each sock is inspected, ironed and washed by hand.

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Conclusions

Although the economic crisis and the effects of globalization have put a lot of hosiery companies to the test, Racale remains unquestionably the city of hosiery. A tradition as long and important as that of the city in the province of Lecce makes it one of the major productive cities of the Italian hosiery market.

Just walk through the streets of the center and visit the city in all its beauties to understand how immediate the association with socks is. In Racale you breathe the history and culture of a human heritage that will remain forever imprinted in the tradition of this unique territory.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Racale called the city of socks?

It is so called because over the years it has become the fulcrum of handcrafted socks in the various production aspects.

When were the first hosiery factories born in Racale?

If there is a significant period for the city of Racale it is the 90s when there was a real boom in the hosiery market. In fact, it was in this period that the number of hosiery factories present in the city and in the surrounding areas grew significantly, reaching approximately 300 hosiery factories operating in the area.

Where is Racale located?

In the province of Lecce in Puglia there is a city known as the city of socks. This city is Racale.

How many hosiery factories are there in Racale?

The economic crisis and globalization have pushed many companies to move to other countries to produce. Turkey is one of the nations chosen by many. Of the 300 hosiery factories born in the 1990s, today only about twenty remain.

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