DocBi – Fabbrica della Ruota

Wheel Factory

The former Lanificio Fratelli Zignone, now known as the Fabbrica della Ruota – Wheel Factory, began its activity in 1878 and then closed definitively in 1964. After two decades of abandonment, the building came back to life in 1984, with an exhibition entitled “Industrial Archeology in Valsessera and Vallestrona “. Following the initiative, the idea was born to establish the DocBi – Cultural Association – then drew its own symbol from the big wheel metal that characterizes the factory.

In more than twenty years of research and protection activities in the field of industrial archeology in the Biella area, the Docbi-Centro Studi Biellesi has gradually received, preserved and cataloged an important set of archival collections.

The archives are kept and made accessible to researchers and scholars in the Textile Industry Documentation Center set up at the “Wheel Factory”. Over twenty company archives of discontinued corporate names, for a chronological period between the 18th century and the second half of the 20th century, have been filed and inventoried. Some of them, including that of the former Lanificio Zignone, can already be consulted electronically.

Alongside the documents, the Center contains a specialized library on the history, technology and economy of the wool and non-wool textile industry, made up of more than a thousand volumes and a rich miscellany, mostly received by DocBi with the legacy of comm. Mario Sodano.

On the other hand, tens of thousands of images constitute the iconographic heritage. These are single images or real collections that testify to the manufacturing past of the Biellese area through the faces of workers and people, views and interiors of factories, etc …

Currently in the process of computerization, the photographs, as well as the books, the paper documentation and the precious collections of textile samples, are constantly increasing thanks to generous donations and targeted acquisitions on the antiques market.


Fabbrica della Ruota
Regione Valle Fredda
13867 Pray

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Fabbrica della Ruota

Tel +39 015 766221

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Since 1985, DocBi – Center for Documentation and Protection of Biellese Culture has been operating with the aim of “contributing to the recovery and maintenance of the Biellese identity, to the knowledge, documentation, conservation of the Biella culture and environment in their various aspects: history, traditions, customs, art, architecture, landscape, literature, material culture, etc. “, through a qualified volunteer action, with the support of specialists in the various fields of restoration and research, working in collaboration with Local administrations, with the bodies responsible for the conservation of cultural heritage, with research centers and universities.


DocBi – Centro Studi Biellesi
Via Guglielmo Marconi 26
13900 Biella BI

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Tel +39 015 31463

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