Our company at glance
Established in 1926 , Morel is leader in producing cotton-based materials for toe-puffs and counters .
High end 4.0 custom made machinery, unique production technology and close collaboration with the best shoes manufacturers worldwide , enable Morel to have the best solution for every kind of shoes .
Our materials are inimitable , incomparably elastic , easy to use and with unique features .
Morel’s products satisfy the imagination of stylists , allow to speed up the production and to make a flawless shoe .
Our founder Maurice Morel was born in 1885 in Normandy. Of humble origins, son of a shoemaker, he quickly learns the shoemaking skills and at a very young age he starts working for a famous shoefactory in Arpajon.
Intraprendent and visionair, develops his own unique techinques to reinforce shoes. He sets up a small laboratory where he elaborates a new type of glue by melting caucciù gum. The adventure begins.
The First World War signs a turning point. While injured in a hospital bed he has a simple and yet genius idea, a piece of cloth impregnated with glue: easy to use and to work with for shoemakers but at the same time perfect to use as a reinforcement for toepuffs. In 1920 Maurice opens his very first factory.
Roi du Bout Dur
By 1924 Maurice opens several factories throughout Europe, becoming a landmark as a supplier for the shoemaking industry but most importantly for his greatest invention, the cotton toepuff! In an ironic and extravagant way, he proclaims himself “Roi du Bout Dur” and he becomes legend.
The Italian adventure of Morel starts in Milan.
Antonio Ghiringhelli, a young clever man working as an accountant Alla Scala of Milan, is appointed by Maurice Morel to revamp the economical situation, drastically hit by the ’29 crisis.
Not only he will manage to do so but he will also be responsible for the construction of the new, and our current, factory in Via Gradisca 18.
Morel appears many times on the famous cover of the “Italian Shoes Magazine”, with effective and captivating images
Alice Bonfanti, together with Maurice Morel and Antonio Ghiringhelli, believing in the company, will become one of the main shareholders.
Second World War. Morel factory taken by the German army as a strategic position to place an anti-aircraft on the roof.
As a consequence, british forces bomb part of our factory, destroying part of our warehouse.
By 1945 American troops occupy Morel factory and put it under the protection of the allied military government.
The War is over. Antonio Ghiringhelli is called by the new Milan mayor, to follow the reconstruction of the destroyed theatre “Alla Scala”, becoming it superintendent, until 1972.
Going back to his great love for lyrical music, Mr Ghiringhelli will still keep his position as President of Morel, entrusting however the company to a young chemistry graduate, Mr Ottavio Bonfanti.
Italian economic Boom. The visual of Morel company is committed to one of the most famous graphic studios in Milan, that will realize the labels designed by Walter Ballmer, future graphic designer of Olivetti.
Years of innovations
With Silvertex being the very first water based adhesive and the toepuff Morelast
Morelast, such an innovative and iconic product that shoemakers will no longer refer to the material by saying but rather ‘give me the Morelast’.
Maurice Morel passes away and as the great man he was, he did it with style. By building himself a grave with ‘Roi Du Bout Dur’ engraved on it, rumours say he even asked for a telephone line and champagne bottles!
Ottavio Bonfanti passes the baton to his son Luca Bonfanti.
The adhesive part is sold in order to concentrate and commit all the resources and technologies in the improvements of the reinforcement part. This move will enable Morel to export toepuffs and counters to the best shoe manufacturers around the world, maintaining its production exclusively in Italy.
The Morel brand joins the ICF stable alongside the existing Forestali, ABC and Durabond brands, which specialize in the production of technical products for different manufacturing and industrial applications.
Morel is a historical company of Milan, born in 1926, that designs and manufactures technical fabrics for footwear and leather goods.
The brand is synonymous with made in Italy quality, automation 4.0 and know-how of “artisan” standing. Its products are positioned for high technical characteristics and valuable raw materials processed with wave-tech technology to enhance their properties.
Brand, know-how, machines, equipment and men are within the agreement.
In short, two Italian companies, each with a hundred years of history behind them, join forces to seek synergies at all levels and to become even stronger together in the global footwear and leather goods market.
Formulas, recipes, know-how, craftsmanship, organization, innovative spirit, ethics, respect, made in Italy: these are just some of the values that we have always shared with Morel and that we will carry forward together.
United we win and have more fun!