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since 1923

At Calligaris, we believe that furniture should be as functional as it is elegant. 
We believe that innovative design should be engineered to offer real life solutions and essential comfort. And even after 100 years of experience in the industry, we continue to experiment with materials and finishes. 

After all, our ability to embrace change is perhaps the most enduring characteristic of the Calligaris brand.

  • inspiring
  • researching
  • resolving
  • designing
  • producing
  • furnishing

We know that every space and home-maker’s needs are different, so we offer a wide range of products and made-to-order options to make sure you find what you like.
Whether it’s a dining area that is always ready to welcome friends and family, the comforting call of the sofa, the dreamy prospect of your bed at the end of a long day, the home working area where ideas and inspiration can flow freely, when it comes to contemporary design for real life, Calligaris is where you’ll always feel at home.

We believe in quality. In fact, we choose top-range materials, we research new formulations to offer the finest performances and durability, we submit our products to rigorous test sequences for obtaining the necessary certifications in accordance to the highest standards. Above all, we love close and long-term relationships growing day by day, which is why you’ll find our stores all over the world.

discover our green soul

1923
The birth

With the outbreak of World War I many men were enlisted soon leading economy to paralysis.
By the end of the war 70% of the industrial infrastructure and factories were destroyed. However, at the beginning of the 1920s the number of companies in the Manzano area quadrupled: they were small or very small family businesses joining to the house. Calligaris was born in 1923 in Manzano as a small craft workshop founded by Antonio Calligaris for the production of the Marocca chair, that was characterized by a wooden frame and straw seat, typical artifact of the area.

1930-1950
the first productions

In the following years and until the 1950s a network of companies, which complemented each other, was created and the largest ones started subcontracting part of the chair components.
Antonio Calligaris’ workshop organized the production bringing the timber from the surrounding mountains and the straw from the Friuli lagoon. The shop apprentices were entrusted with the staining of the straw, which was done with natural colors. 
There were few machineries, most of the work was done by hand and mainly by women who took care of weaving the straw seats and staining the chairs.
Among the chair types in production, on top of the Thonet models, was realized a “Milano” chair type (economical version of the Thonet chair and the first chair especially designed for office use).

1950-1960
the Boom years
The consolidation of the industrial production took place after World War II, which did not have an equally tragic impact as the first one, thanks to the creation of the Consortium for the Developement of the Chair Production (1957). In the 1960s the post-war reconstruction brought to a consumption boom with an exponential growth of the domestic demand, which partially neutralized the general crisis. Investments grew and production underwent an unprecedented industrialzation. In the 1950s, the son Romeo inherits his father’s business and developes it also thanks to the period of post-war economic boom.
1970-1980
Calligaris is an Industry
In the 1970s family businesses developed in a more industrial sense. During those years the economic boom coincides with the modernization of the Calligaris family: the company passes to the Calligaris third generation, to the sons Alessandro and Walter who believe in a rush seat weaving machine able to weave a chair in one minute and 20 seconds using synthetic fibres similar to straw.
The following years record a constant growth of the company’s production capacity. It is transformed in a well structured industrial reality, a leader in a geographical area known worldwide as the “chair district”, and begins to lay the foundations for the conquest of other markets. The first catalogue appears and the export begins. As from this moment Calligaris starts distributing its products to the final consumers through local dealers both on the Italian and European territory.
 
1990-2000
Calligaris around the world
During the 1990s people in the district became aware of the importance of self-promotion as well as of the national and global distribution. The Friuli chair established itself on the Italian market and also abroad until it covered about 80% of the domestic demand with a strong presence in Europe, USA and far east. During these years the Chair District saw a widespread unprecedented wealth reaching extremely low unemployment levels and an unmatched production capacity.
In 1986, Alessandro Calligaris, third generation of the family, was appointed President of the company. Calligaris expands its range with complete furnishing solutions: chairs, tables and occasional furniture.
Wood is not the only material on which Calligaris measures its vocation for innovation any more. The company, in fact, also works with metal, plastic, leather and glass. In 1998 inaugurates the first branch in the US in High Point (North Carolina).
2000-2020
today
The years following the 2000 are the deciding years for Calligaris in order to establish itself as an international company. In 2007, L Capital, a private equity fund sponsored by the luxury giant LVMH, acquires a 40% stake starting a new branding, communication (traditional and digital) and retail strategy.
In 2008 opens the first Flagship Store in Milan, which is then followed by the ones in Paris and London. The Calligaris family’s Holding approves the purchase of 40% of Calligaris S.p.A. sole shareholder, which, in 2007, had been sold to L Capital a private equity fund part of the LVMH goup.
Calligaris becomes even more Italian in a time when foreign investors are shopping our fashion, design and luxury brands.
This marks a restart for Calligaris with a new expansion phase more than ever consistent with the history of a company, which, from its foundation in 1923, believes with confidence in the future and in Italy.
In October 2018, Alpha Private Equity Fund 7 finalized the acquisition of a majority stake of the Calligaris group.