Insight: the textile industry in Portugal

News |
  27 Dec 2023

Biancalani agent in Portugal talks about shaking working hands and the need to differentiate

It’s been a long time and Biancalani Textile Machinery agent in Portugal, Mr. Jose Fortes, still remembers every detail of it. And is glad to share how it all began and how far Biancalani and Acimatextil, the last founded in 1989, have come together.

The first thing Mr. Fortes recalls is that right when the cooperation with Biancalani started, a few years after the foundation of Acimatextil, he knew and felt he was “in front of a promising company with something new” to say and do in the mechano-textile industry. Indeed, that something was AIRO®, a totally new, innovative textile machinery back then – today an all-round finishing machine for washing, drying and softening, well-known and widely-used as per textile finishing all over the world . But not only that. Mr. Fortes remembers that the man who received and welcomed them at Biancalani headquarters in Italy had “the dirty hands of a working man”, hands that knew their way through textile machinery and that could tell it all about them. The hands of the founder of Biancalani, Fiorenzo Biancalani, the strong company’s engine, were vigorously shaking his hands with a nice smile.

Manuel Lopes, José Fortes, Tiago Guerra, Rossano Biancalani

In Portugal, AIRO® treatment has become everyday more famous and, thanks to it and to the textile machines created afterwards, Biancalani is definitely a household name in the national textile market – and today, AIRO®24, the original tumbler continuous version, is a reference too, with its treatment that is always present during textile finishings.

A well-known name must keep up with its outstanding reputation and that’s what Biancalani has always done thanks to key elements such as “quality, teamwork, innovation and reliability and service”, states Mr. Guerra, Mr. Fortes’ excellent young collaborator. On the other side, Acimatextil pays close attention to constant feedbacks from customers and carefully reports it to Biancalani, while being always available as per after-sales service, something to which national customers attach great value, both when the industry is thriving and during less easy times.

“The textile market in Portugal has always been very active and strong. However, in the last ten years, after the last crisis, a big change has been noticed in terms of innovation. Today we are a smaller but very evolved textile market” says Tiago Guerra. In fact, sometimes it is a matter of quality rather than quantity and size. “For me”, Guerra adds, “Biancalani’s key factor is to prioritize quality and not be tempted to or conditioned by competitive prices that usually mean lower quality. In the future, with the arrival of many competitors, it is with quality that we must keep on differentiating ourselves from other suppliers of mecano-textile technology.”

Only thanks to that quality Biancalani and Acimatextil can get to win. As Mr. Fortes and Tiago Guerra explain, “our biggest and best challenge is when we manage to change a customer’s decision when they were already opting for a competitor and at the last moment we manage to revert it to us. It’s very rewarding.” And he shares something about the future of Biancalani and the textile industry in Portugal, which will be closely linked to sustainability: “in our opinion, AQUARIA®, the new open-width continuous tumble washing range, will be the most important machine for our market because it achieves an innovative finish with low consumption and this will be fundamental in the future of textile market.” For sure, it will be a future of good handshakes.


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