The story of Sferra is not just a history of fine linen-making, but one
of family, of determination, and of the American Dream. From the storied
journeys of our founder to the first-of-its-kind reimagining of linen
itself, Sferra has woven its own place in history.
The company was founded in 1891 Italy, when Gennaro Sferra first set
foot on a cross-Atlantic steamer that would carry him to America.
Aspiration led him to join the waves of immigrants seeking a new life,
but it was a family history of craftsmanship that enabled him to sell
the exquisite, meticulously handmade lace that would become his future.
Initiating the business with his two brothers, the company was formed as
Sferra Brothers Limited.
Capturing the fashion of the day, he sold the delicate bobbin lace his
mother made in his native Isernia -- along with exquisite Venetian lace
collars and cuffs -- to society's tastemakers as they vacationed at seaside
resorts up and down the East Coast. It sowed the seeds of the business,
but more importantly, established Sferra's reputation for offering only
the finest and most exclusive fine linens.
Over the next decades, Sferra thrived, thanks to Gennaro's visionary
thinking. He had the vision to establish his own lace-making factory and
school, ensuring a consistent supply of the finest lace. He had the
foresight, in the early 1930s, to evolve his focus to table linens as
fashion tastes began to change. And looking to the future, he instilled
in both his sons Enrico and Albert a mastery of the textile
craftsmanship, technical know-how, and a taste for exploration.
The insight and foresight shared by Gennaro's sons, Enrico and Albert,
helped redefine standards for the entire linen industry, and made the
Sferra Brothers name synonymous with luxury. After Enrico became the
first to import double-damask linens from Ireland -- among the finest in
the world -- he was granted an introduction to Princess (later Queen)
Elizabeth. It was a significant shift for the fine linens industry in
both countries, and just one of the many milestones that established
Sferra's place in history.
Albert, in turn, envisioned the potential in long-staple cotton to
create a quantifiably softer, smoother percale bed linen -- known as C71
and woven in Belgium, it started a revolution in bedding that would
change sleep forever. And when Albert Sferra sold the Sferra Brothers
business to Paul Hooker and his brother-in-law, George Matouk in 1977, a
gentlemanly sense of obligation and a reverence for craft pledged the
new owners to carry on the Sferra legacy of innovation.
That promise has driven decades of development since. A natural
pioneering instinct -- along with intensive study into the technology and
craft of textile fabrication and construction techniques -- propelled
Hooker to conceive of ever-more-luxurious advancements, prized enough to
become the in-flight bedding for Pope John Paul II, the table linen of
state dinners in the Reagan White House, and the staple bedding in
celebrity linen closets around the globe. In 1996, Paul introduced an
Italian-made version of Albert's long-staple cotton percale with
Celeste; the company is proud to celebrate it as its #1 best-seller for
each of the past 20 years. In 2001, after two years of development and
refinement, SFERRA introduce the first-ever 1,020-thread-count linens,
which were heralded for having "turned the linen industry on its head",
and set the stage for the evolution to something more sophisticated,
even, than thread count could quantify. In 2008, the company debuted a
world-exclusive Egyptian cotton bedding with its suite of SFERRA Giza 45
collections, woven from a special genus of extra-long-staple cotton
fibers and revered as the rarest of all fine cottons, and known as the "Queen of Egyptian Cotton". The percales, sateens, and jacquards woven
from this fiber have taken up residence in the company's pantheon of
best-sellers, developing a devoted and loyal fan base of fine linen
connoisseurs throughout the world.