Serica 1870, the Made in Italy silk route

The secular and passionate art of silk working

We are in Follina, a charming jewel in the Marca Trevigiana, a tourist destination of the international jet set. Alongside its fashionable appearance, Follina remains an industrious and productive center in the Veneto region, home to historic and important Made in Italy companies.

After Lanificio Paoletti Borghi Magazine, the magazine of the villages and territories, the charm of hidden Italy, returns to Follina. Here in 1870, Tessitura Serica Trevigiana, now known as Serica 1870, was founded, one of the most important companies for the production of full cycle silk, owned by the Frezza and the Baldazzi families.

Serica 1870 the history of Italian silk

But how the centuries-old art of silk working was born? According to legend, the birth of silkworm breeding and silk production is attributed to the Chinese Empress Xi Lin Shi, but realistically silk and its processing were already known in China since 3000 BC.

Marco Polo had the great merit of having imported the secret of the processing into Italy, thus favoring the development of the production of this noble material in Veneto. Until the Second World War Italy was one of the most important center for silkworms breeding and for the realization of this wonderful fabric.

“Tradition cannot be improvised. From foundation of the mill in 1870 we have never stopped innovating.”

Serica 1870

Serica 1870, the Made in Italy silk route

The secular and passionate art of silk working

Today Italy, like the rest of the world, imports all the silk production from China. There are some small companies in Treviso and Padua, but their production is small and the price is considerably higher. Still today, despite the importation of the raw material, the quality of workmanship in Italy is one of the best in the world.

Serica 1870 is one of the very few companies, you can probably count on the fingers of one hand, which have the entire production process in Italy. The cost of labor has unfortunately led to the relocation of production in countries such as Romania and Serbia.

The most advanced technology at the service of a constantly controlled production cycle

In the beautiful 1800 buildings, Serica 1870 produces silk with advanced technologies. Latest generation plants, laboratory tests and a constant investment to improve the production cycle.

The Made in Italy production of Serica 1870 is divided into three phases: warping, weaving, and dyeing, in the Como headquarters. 8500 square meters dedicated to the last and most delicate phase of production: dyeing, printing and ennobling the silk, making it soft through a process that breaks the fibers.

“We follow and implement the entire production process, transforming the yarn directly into fine fabrics.”

Serica 1870

Serica 1870, the Made in Italy silk route

The secular and passionate art of silk working

Together with the 51 latest-generation looms, Serica has purchased two manual looms, one of which is already in production and the other one will soon be. The aim, in collaboration with Tessitura Bevilaqua of Venice, one of the oldest in Europe and heritage of Italian know-how, is to set up a school in Follina to hand down the centuries-old art of silk processing.

At the moment, trainers capable of using manual looms are being trained. An elderly gentleman from Cuneo and two trainers from Caserta are among the only remaining workers in Italy who are able to manage these looms.

The early-19th-century loom and the real brocade

The early-19th-century loom is one of the rarities for the production of the real silk brocade. Very few remain in the world: one is in China, and it is a World Heritage Site, one is in Florence at the Fondazione Lisio, one is at the Tessitura Bevilacqua in Venice and one is owned by Serica 1870 in the Follina headquarters.

The loom was owned by the Tessitura Pagliero of Cuneo, that served the Vatican. After the cut to the opulence wanted by Pope Francis, the company went into difficulty and the loom would have been destroyed.

The Company Archive

Think that the loom for the real brocade produces fifteen/twenty centimeters per day of a fabric that can cost from € 1,000 to € 3,000 per meter, fifty centimeters high and sometimes woven with threads of pure gold and silver. Mechanical looms cannot reproduce but only imitate it.

The drawings and samples preserved since 1948 in the Company Archive are mixed with the proposals of the creative department of Serica 1870 that processes the fabrics for labels around the world. More than 40% of the production is exported, contributing to the image of Made in Italy.

The perfection of their fabrics and the impalpability of their silks are the strengths recognized by the most important national and international brands.

Well done Frezza and Baldazzi families.

You can find Serica 1870 website

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Gallery: Serica 1870, the Made in Italy silk route