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Cycling Apparel: A Brief History

Posted by Francesca Loomis


Jerseys are the defining emblem of cycling. Nothing reveals the various eras and memories of great races and champions as the jersey.

Brief history:

At the dawn of cycling there was no better fabric than wool: it wicked away moisture from the skin and absorbed perspiration, the perfect material for hot summers and cold winters. In the 40’s, Armando Castelli, an Italian tailor turned manufacturer, introduced silk jerseys to provide a lighter, cooler option for cyclists. Silk also took ink much better than other materials, an important advanced for professional cycling, turning cyclists into billboards.


In 1941 PET (Polyester) was invented by JT Dickson and Rex Whinfield. The introduction of nylon, spandex and Lycra followed soon after. With synthetic fabric people were able to make better sport clothing, and by the 70’s, cyclists had turned away from wool and embraced next-gen fabrics that had the same wicking capabilities of wool, were light like silk, were more aerodynamic and could be printed with vibrant colors.

Relive the golden age of cycling with a Ciclismo Classico vintage wool jersey! We're now accepting pre-orders on this comfortable, lightweight and limited-edition wool cycling jersey. The jerseys embody the “epic” times of cycling; each piece revives the actions, memories and emotions of days past. Pissei launched their new vintage line “Ciclistica Fiorentina” in 2013, proudly made in Italy. To place an order call 800-866-7314 or click below. 

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Guests who ride our Tuscany and L'Eroica tour proudly sport these jerseys!
Join us next year at the Eroica.

Tuscany & L'Eroica

Bike Tours, Wool Jersey, Vintage, Eroica

Written by Francesca Loomis

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