The Silk

The fascination caused by seeing or wearing a silk article is unique when compared to the sensations provoked by other natural fibres. Silk is a living fibre with a protein composition quite similar to that of our skin. It is probably because of this that wearing clothing made of the most noble fibre gives the immediate sense of softness, wellbeing and protection. The legendary halo that has always accompanied this material from the moment of its appearance along the various migrations of nations of various ethnic origins is thus understandable.


The scientific name of the silkworm is Bombia Mori, and its ideal nourishment is mulberry leaves. After a month, the silkworm is closed in a cocoon formed of a thread of a length varying from six hundred to two thousand meters. When dissolved in boiling water, the cocoon releases a continuous yarn preserving the winged iridescence and impalpable luminosity of a butterfly. A world of big and small industries transforms this yarn into a precious fabric.

Como: the silk city

The best textile designers are to be found in Como, real artists with great imagination and sensitivity, who anticipate fashion, offering variations on floral, casual, noble and classic themes such as cashmere, animals, abstract or futuristic design.
These designs are applied to the fabrics made by weaving the weft yarns through the warp yarns, arranged lengthways on a loom. The crossing of these coloured threads forms a pattern that is capable of satisfying even the most sophisticated requirements.

Printing the fabrics used particularly for women’s clothing also requires great skill. Up until the 1920’s, it was done using inked pads pressed on the fabric, ut in 1926 “Lionese printing” began to be used in Como too, using a frame instead of the pad. The bigger surface of the frame and the quicker manual working enabled a remarkable increase in production. Thus, a new printing technique began and many photoengravings for the preparation of increasingly bigger and precise printing frames were made to follow this technological evolution. Silk is a legend that repeats itself with a fascination unaffected by time, with the peak of its expression here in Como, on the shores of a lake filled with water bearing the same charming reflections as that precious thread. A record won through as that precious thread.

A silk garment, whether it be a tie, shirt, shawl, handkerchief, scarf, or stole, is synonymous with luxury and elegance. Its craftsmanship must exude charm to satisfy even the most discerning clientele. From the silk mills of Lake Como, fabrics for home decor also emerge, such as lightweight organza drapes, brocades, and tablecloths. To ensure the reliability of companies and the validity of their products, a quality mark called has been established. Confirming this tradition in Como, there is also an ancient school, the "Istituto Tecnico Industriale di Setificio" located at Via Valleggio, 3, where modern professionals in the industry graduate.
Since 1990, there has been an Educational Silk Museum (tel. 031/303180) here, featuring looms, racks, spindles, twisting machines, wooden dyeing containers, scales, and other machinery from the 18th century to the present day. The exhibits are accompanied by extensive documentation.