In the fertile valley of Tulancingo (Hidalgo), where since 1565 an old flour mill existed, a company, that is now called SANTIAGO TEXTIL, was founded in the year of 1888. It took a great vision to locate the new factory in this valley, as workers, who had an ancient textile tradition, were readily available, the supply of water, an essential element for textile, was abundant and there was railway access, which facilitated the productive activities.
Although the factory had since its inception the necessary equipment for the production of wool textiles, it was from the year 1905 that large investments allowed SANTIAGO to supply a variety of top quality fabrics to its customers. Various developments appeared in the factory, for example self-acting spinning mules, English carding machines, mechanized power looms, etc., and in 1908, new machines arrived from England that allowed SANTIAGO to produce the "first worsted fabric the country." In 1910 the factory already had the bulk of its current plant layout.
As owners and employees of the factory engaged in the largest effort to revitalize the company, in the year 1910 a revolutionary movement started in Mexico. The factory began to suffer, as imports of raw materials were difficult to realize and sales decreased dramatically. While the crisis lasted for over ten years, SANTIAGO not only survived but redoubled efforts and continued the proposed expansion and modernization project. Thus, a major event in the factory was the visit on January 14, 1918 of President Venustiano Carranza, a Revolution hero, during a tour of the most reputable companies in the country.
The first years after the Revolution were not easy, as they were marked by low demand and a market flooded with imported goods from Britain and America, but the factory was not without good news. Most important, were the acquisition and merger of a textile factory called Los Angeles and the installation of an innovative decatizing machine that dramatically improved the fabric finishing process. Also during those years SANTIAGO began to regulate work conditions and to encourage productive work by using a new efficiency payment system for its weavers. Workers also became organized and founded a union called Sindicato La Libertad that still operates in the factory. In 1935 the company changed its name to Fábrica de Hilado y Tejidos de Lana Santiago, SA.
After World War II, a successful Import Substitution Program launched in the 1940s by the Mexican government, led to a strong demand for locally manufactured textiles. SANTIAGO leveraged from this program to obtain greater market penetration, allowing the company to increase production capacity and develop a full line of new products that soon were highly demanded by Mexican consumers. At that time also began an aggressive advertising campaign that gave SANTIAGO more brand recognition.
To support the manufacturing of such varied articles and maintain the high quality that characterized SANTIAGO's products, the company began to invest in machinery and equipment in the early 1950s. New carding, combing, and spinning machines arrived to the Mill to improve the quality of our yarns, as well as warping, weaving, dyeing, and finishing equipment for making better fabrics. Since then it has been a constant policy of the owners to maintain a world-class production plant with the latest in textile technology.
It was also important for SANTIAGO to obtain technological exchange with leading companies worldwide, so in 1958 we signed with the world famous firm Hunt & Winterbotham of England for an exclusive license to manufacture the best worsted fabric in Mexico. In 1960 we also signed with the Italian company Lanerossi Spa for the license to manufacture the Thermocobertor brand in Mexico, a wool blanket with highest calorific quality known.
As for the 1960s, most of the equipment was modern and the company was proud to have many new machines that were installed for the first time in the Americas, including a German spinning system called Perfect, a Swiss yarn twisting system in two stages without ring traveler, a Belgian carding system with a radioactive feeding device, and many more, so SANTIAGO was nationally recognized for the technology leadership it possessed.
It should be noted that in 1962, SANTIAGO was the first Latin American Mill to incorporate a patented finishing process called Qualitex by KD, allowing us to fully decatise wool fabrics to provide dimensional stability and a permanent finish. Also, in 1966 SANTIAGO was the first company in Mexico to receive the authorization to use the Wool Mark, awarded by the International Wool Secretariat (IWS). Since then the selvage of our fabrics proudly carry the legend "PURE WOOL 1Mx66."
The recognition for the quality and technological development that distinguished SANTIAGO came quickly. In 1971, and for three consecutive years, we obtained the grand prize in the recognized NATIONAL EXPORT DESIGN COMPETITION organized by the Mexican Institute of Foreign Trade (IMCE). The gold medal awarded the best grade for our products based on qualities such as shape, texture, color, originality, and finish.
Aware of the high demand for world class supplies that the prosperous Mexican apparel industry had, in 1972, SANTIAGO established in joint venture with Kufner Textilwerke AG of Munich (Germany) the company Entretex SA de CV, a leader in Mexico since then in the manufacturing of fusible interlinings.
Changes also happened in Mexico City, and in 1973 SANTIAGO inaugurated its brand new headquarters in the luxurious area of Polanco with a project led by the renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. That same year we also decided to change our corporate image and became SANTIAGO TEXIL SA, with the new logo that now distinguishes us.
Since the 1980s, the company successfully competes with an important part of our annual production in International Markets with exports to North, Central, and South America and to a lesser extent in Europe and the Orient. The addition of Mexico to the NAFTA market has solidified a customer base in the United States and Canada.
Since the 1990s, SANTIAGO in conjunction with D&R Industries, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois, developed a very successful line of billiards fabrics for the American and Canadian markets, achieving in a few years the industry leadership and setting new standards in quality and innovation. These products are marketed under the Championship brand name.
On January 15, 2003, the International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) and the International Wool Secretariat (IWS) granted SANTIAGO TEXTIL the code of practice Super 100's for use in our product line Peck & Benson. This distinction, the first awarded in Mexico, is a guarantee of the quality and fineness of this product line. Also on May 8, 2003, we signed with Dupont a license agreement for using the brand Teflon® to identify our items bearing this chemical that allows liquid and stain repellency, giving a higher added value to our fabrics.
Since 1888, the story of Santiago is of achievements, both by our company and by all who trust our products. As we moved into the twenty-first century and in the second century of our existence, the tradition of excellence that characterizes us remains as strong as the first day.