Prato Excellence:
Artisanal knowledge


Traditional product of Prato's industry

'Cardato' is a woollen fabric consisting of big and hairy yarns, particularly warm and of medium-high weight, therefore ideal for the winter season.
Cardato fabric was the traditional mainstay of the Prato industry from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century, especially in its 'regenerated' version. This fibre is obtained by recycling old clothes and production waste into yarn to be spun and woven again.
From the beginning, wool regeneration met with great success, reducing the costs of raw material and manufacturing and giving rise to a new expert, the rag man, who, through his experience and tactile sensibility, could classify fibres very accurately. After the Second World War, Prato became the world's most important and specialized centre for the collection of rags: more than half of the huge amounts of rags reaching Prato’s warehouses are exported abroad after being graded and packed in bales.
Cardato is still an important part of textile production as it lends itself to creative and diverse processing methods (fantasy yarns, mix of colours) and the environmentally-sustainable regenerated wool is attracting new interest, as it uses textile cut-offs that would otherwise become waste.