Antica Corderia Corai

Within the area called "Laghetti S. Gottardo" in Pordenone '500 old maps, area which was part of Via dei Cappuccini, including an irrigation ditch that flowed into the Noncello river bordering the territory of the Capuchin friars monastery, the Corai Ropery history began.

Giovanni Maria Corai, born in Corva (Azzano X) on 15.09.1798, arrived in Pordenone in 1814 and in 1854 he purchased several cadastral maps of the above described area.

But his son Felice Fortunato was the founder of Corai Ropery. Born in Pordenone on 02.09.1829, he was called to army in 1850 and spent a long time in the Habsburgian Navy where he gained the art of ropes manufacturing. Back in Pordenone, after his father’s death in 1858, he inherited the property and built the first "pista" (track) for the rope production, using a human-operated wood and iron wheel that moved the spindles for the hemp yarn twisting (hemp was the raw material with which ropes were manufactured in 1800). The place still exists and it’s part of the property of his great-granddaughter Anila Corai, and it’s located in Via Dogana Vecchia at nr. 5 in Pordenone.

With his hard labor results, on 31.08.1885 Felice Fortunato Corai was able to buy the building adjacent to his property (the ruins of the Capuchin friars convent, destroyed by Napoleonic troops in 1809); this was a two floors and ten rooms building with all the surrounding land, reachable by Via dei Cappuccini, then through Strada dei consorzi di ditta Dogana (now Via Dogana Vecchia), which led to the Noncello river.

This allowed his lab to become a real company which, after his death (24.03.1895), passed at the head of Giovanni Battista Corai (Gio Batta), his greater son, who was twenty-six and had always produced ropes and twines with his father since he was a very young boy, supplying also his younger brother Giueppe who was responsible of the sales in local markets. Gio Batta Corai created a frame for the manual production of hemp braids and belts; at that time, the hemp rope came in the raw state in 100/200 kgs. bales and was combed and spun by his wife’s hands, Clementina Campagnol, who already was an experienced spinner of the competitor's Falomo Ropery in Pordenone.

In 1899, Gio Batta built a new "pista" or "andana" (track) for the ropes production and a new laboratory next to a pond of his property; in 1925 he opened the first ropes store in Pordenone, on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, then managed by his sons David and Tommaso until 1969. In 1930 he left the full leadership to his son Davide, who studied and created new methods of twines manufacturing, in particular he designed a turbine that turned the water power (coming from the owned ponds) into mechanical energy, by which the frame spindles (plies) were driven for twisting ropes and cords allowing a less tiring manual work, therefore more industrial. In 1935, David Corai was the promoter and CEO of a large roping company with his brother Tommaso, his cousin Giovanni and five other members, signed C.O.R.A.I. (Corderia Operaia Regionale Articoli Inerenti).

The dissolution of the company (which took place in 1945) didn’t stop the projects that Davide had for the Corai Ropery which was started right in the vast territory initially cited (13,000 square mts.), including two lakes and a canal, situated at Via Dogana Vecchia at nr. 5 in Pordenone. With the help of his three children he enlarged the company, building another laboratory in 1950 where a second water turbine was installed; this provided energy to a twisting machinery expressly created for all the strings production (including the "limetta", a specific waxed hemp twine largely used by upholsterers at that time).

In 1955 he built a new 100 mts. track to produce strings of the same length, with the installation of a new ladder driven by internal combustion engines. In 1960 he expanded the original old laboratory building a large and covered 80 meters track, where new machineries were installed to polish all products, installing also other engines and a skein/balls machinery. Also, at that time eight employees were working there for a long time and this allowed a largely grown manufacturing capacity and the shipping of all Ropery products in various part of Italy. For his special work commitments, in 1956 Davide Corai received the honor of Knight of Labor and was proposed as director of the Artisans Association of Pordenone, position which he covered from 1956 to 1970, the year of his death.

At Davide’s son Daniele, Master Ropemaker with an experienxe of over 65 years, goes the merit for having grown the historical company in both manufacturing and commercial fields, gaining in 1985 the honor "Loyalty to the Labor and Economic Progress" and a diploma in ancient handicraft from the Chamber of Commerce of Pordenone, and for having delivered all this to date to his two daughters Anila and Ketty and his sons-in-law Gabriele e Denis.

Today, the result of the dedication, ability and determination of these Master Ropemakers is the basis of the success of ANTICA CORDERIA CORAI S.N.C., a company specialized in natural fibers rope production and wholesale distribution of a wide range of synthetic products (more performing and resistant than natural fibers), such as braids, cords, tapes and related items for hardware, marine, agriculture, industry, decoration, upholstery, construction and sport/leisure fields, also offering a wide range of certified products for loads lifting and anchoring, both for hobbystic and professional purposes.

ANTICA CORDERIA CORAI S.N.C. has become over the years a reference point for everything related to these areas, being known and appreciated all around Italy and, increasingly, also in Europe. Thanks to the uninterrupted family tradition, the strong imprint inherited from his predecessors and his owners dynamism, it continues its strong growth in the market, proudly stating, in its motto, to be part of "A 5 generations lasting Rope".
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