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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

George Foletta

n.d.
Dickinson Monteath Studio

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 24.2 cm x 18.0 cm)

George Gotardo Foletta CMG (1892-1973), manufacturer, worked as a travelling salesman for his father, a fancy goods commission agent, before setting up the Atlas Knitting and Spinning Mills Pty Ltd in Brunswick in 1920. Its circular-knit silk hosiery made an instant market impact and in 1922 the business went public as Prestige Ltd. After a number of reversals, by 1924 the company had become the first Australian knitter to make fully-fashioned silk stockings and had gained dominance of the local hosiery market. Over the 1930s it diversified into lingerie, expanded operations into New Zealand and began spinning rayon as well as silk. In 1944 it branched into weaving. During World War 2 Foletta was Joint Chairman of the Committee for War Organisation and Industry. He was Foundation President of the Rayon Weavers Association of Australia from 1932 to 1955, and Chairman of the Rayon Weavers section of the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures from 1948. A supporter of tariff protection, he was a strong force in the establishment of the Australian Industries Protection League and co-founded its successor, the Australian Industries Development Association, of which he was President from its inception in 1951 until 1956. In 1968 he sold Prestige to Dunlop Australia Ltd; the company was to discontinue the Prestige brand in the late 1970s. Foletta retired in 1970 and worked up until his death on his family history, Woven Threads, which was privately printed in 1975.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Estate of Alice Myra Foletta 2006

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Donated by

Estate of Alice Myra Foletta (2 portraits)

Related portraits

1. George Foletta. All Sir William Dargie CBE.
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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