Italian Silk

Italian silk, silk production italy, silk scarves, silk ties, silk bowties, silk pocket squares

Silk production has enjoyed a renaissance in Italy over the last few years with local Italian companies once again producing a wide range of high quality, silk scarves, silk ties, silk bowties and silk pocket squares. With an industry stretching back over 1,000 years, Italy has now regained its rightful place at the forefront of the design and manufacture of silk products.

Our Italian Silk Products
"Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life." Anna Akhmatova
Italian silk, silk gifts italy, silk scarves, silk ties, silk bowties, silk pocket squares
Italian Silk

History of Italian Silk Production

Silk first reached Europe from China around AD 550. Chinese silk was used in the Roman empire and was even mentioned in 'The Odyssey' by Homer. Aristotle talked about silk being produced on the Greek island of Kos.

Italy has had a long tradition of producing silk. It is thought that Mulberry trees, essential for breeding silk worms, were introduced by the Byzantines to southern Italy during the 9th century. By the 11th century, Calabria had cultivated 24,000 Mulberry trees.

Italian silk, silk production italy, silk scarves, silk ties, silk bowties, silk pocket squares
Silk stemma from Catanzaro

The Calabrian province of Catanzaro became the centre of Italian silk production around the 10th century. The port of Reggio Calabria exported their products to Spain, Venice, Genoa, Florence and Holland, servicing the whole of Europe. By the end of the 16th Century, Catanzaro was the capital of European silk production, with a huge silkworm breeding capacity, feeding 1,000 looms employing 5,000 workers. Half of all of European silk was produced in Catanzaro who counted the Pope as one of their customers!

Italian silk, silk production italy, silk scarves, silk ties, silk bowties, silk pocket squares
Italian Silk 14th century
Photo: Daderot

During the Middle Ages, Italy became the main producer of silk products. Over a period of time, production started to move from the south of Italy to the north. Cities such as Lucca and Florence in Tuscany, Venice and Genoa were at the centre of these developments. By 1472, there were 84 workshops and 7,000 crafstmen working in Florence.

Italian silk, silk production italy, silk scarves, silk ties, silk bowties, silk pocket squares
Italian silk furnishing fabric, 17th century
Photo: Hiart

In 1400, The Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, planted mulberry trees around Lake Como, which established the Po Valley as the new centre of silk production. Vicenza and Verona became the largest producers of raw silk, providing the resources for a thriving Italian silk industry. In 1972, Lake Como was producing more silk than China and Japan.

Italian silk, silk production italy, silk scarves, silk ties, silk bowties, silk pocket squares
Como silk museum
Italian silk, silk production italy, silk scarves, silk ties, silk bowties, silk pocket squares