Calati, Sixty years of tradition

maurizio danese
Maurizio Danese

CALATI, renowned brand specialized in leather thickness measuring, was taken over last year by the Arzignano-based enterprise DANESE.

Almost sixty years’ worth of tradition, a firm that has played a pivotal role in the development of the tanning industry, both domestically and internationally. This is the best way to describe the brand CALATI, a true benchmark in the field of leather thickness measurement – a strategic sector, because, even before the implementation of ISO and US-D regulations, it has helped set universal standards used worldwide. All the tanneries and specialized enterprises own at least one of these tools. Since the launch of the famous “thickness gauge”, the articles developed by CALATI have become, for the entrepreneurs as well as for technicians and workers, essential instruments to carry out daily activities. Hence, it is easy to understand how their success turned out to be so swift and global, and, mainly, how said market leadership has remained fundamentally the same, from the beginning to date.

The founder of this “Italian-worldwide miracle” was Carlo Calati, who, on October 21st, 1961, in a small workshop based in Arzignano (Vicenza province) – already acknowledged, back then, as a strategic district for the leather sector – established his own enterprise and designed the thickness gauge CALATI, immediately praised by industry professionals: reliability, precision, promptness and durability, were the distinctive traits of thar “small grey tool in aluminium, brass and steel”.

The firm’s history, embodied by the Calati family, went on for two generations. More specifically, in the late ‘70s, Carlo Calati, together with his sons Alberto and Alessandro, continued to manufacture measurement equipment, actively contributing to its worldwide success. Since then, up to 2019, the Calati brothers succeeded in preserving the tools’ features. Last year, the renowned brand, at its third generation, joined the DANESE’s universe. Therefore, CALATI moved (after 58 years) from Arzignano to Trissino, a neighbouring town where another production facility was opened by DANESE, whose headquarters (housing the accounting department and the spare parts supply division) is located in Arzignano, in Via Diaz, 33. On the other hand, the overhauling unit, the used machinery warehouse as well as CALATI’s main premises are all based in Trissino.

If the analogic tool is still basically the same, the new management has started to design and produce a cutting-edge model, that will soon be able to “speak” directly with the other technologies installed in the tanneries. The goal for the future is to replace the manual setting of the machines’ parameters; it will be enough to push the CALATI button in order to carry out, in real time, the required operations.

Besides ensuring highly precise measurements, down to hundredths of millimetre, the digital system is also very swift and provides data in sequence, a strategic feat when it comes, for example, to measure leather in various places. It is the suitable solution for the fashion and leatherware sectors, thanks to its top-notch precision in measuring a “soft” material, something quite different from, for instance, a piece of iron: the tools developed by CALATI guarantee first-rate accuracy, similar to that of laboratory equipment. Conceived to carry out tests on leather, laboratory tools are also part of CALATI’s strategy, as the company is thoroughly committed to development and research, even concerning the careful selection of materials.

The goal of the Veneto-based company is to provide a durable instrument, since the damages caused by water, salts and acids are quite a common occurrence in a tannery. For this reason, the tool is purposefully designed to prevent corrosion, to be shock-proof. Here are the available models: 25, 200, 300 and 450 millimetres. In addition to its own brand DANESE® – specialized in machinery and spare parts that are “better than the original ones”, as stated by the corporate slogan -, and to the acquisition of the CALATI brand, DANESE distributes the labels “eZipCut®” and “CARM the buffing paper®” internationally.