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Textile in Lecco

The origin of the textile manufacturing in the area of Lecco dates back to the Renaissance Age when mulberry and silk worm cultivation became widespread for the supply of raw materials to Milanese silk producers.

Under the Spanish domination, the manufacturing spread throughout the territory and, by the mid-17th century, 14 "silk mills" were functioning in the region of Como. Particularly during the 18th century, 33% of all the functioning silk mills in the Duchy of Milan were located in the area of Lecco, 29% of all the spinning frames, and 58% of twisting frames.

A large part of the territory was involved in the production of raw silk and, in 1835, more than 100 mulberry trees for every 10 hectares were present in the area of Lecco. With regards to the manufacturing of raw materials, the specialization was focused on spinning and throwing.

Valuable examples of this industry may be seen throughout the territory, starting with the Silk Museum of Garlate, located in the Abegg Spinning Mill (Filatoio Abegg) which opened in 1953; the world's first example of industrial archaeology. The last silk mills are still in existence at Abbadia Lariana and Ello. The textile district of Lecco was set up by the Regional Law N. 1 of January 5, 2001 and recognized as "Distretto Lecchese Tessile - n.12" by the D.G.R. (Regional Council Deliberation) of March 16, 2001.

The district brings together companies specialized in the production of furnishing fabrics, especially jacquard and velvets, that are globally renowned for their high quality standards, propensity for innovation, strong interaction between firms and the significant territorial centralization.

The district's main activity consists in the manufacturing of cotton and silk yarn and garment manufacturing. The most important areas of specialization are, without doubt, that of furnishing fabrics (the district produces more that half of the overall Italian production) and fabrics and materials for the automobile sector.

Approximately 60% of the district's production is exported; mainly to the United States, Germany and Great Britain.