The Silkworm Museum

The Silkworm Museum, located in an old spinning mill, documents, through tools and equipment, publications, posters, films and historical photos, one of the main economic activities operating in the territory of Vittorio Veneto from the end of the 18th century to the first decades of the 20th. .

Sericulture, silk reeling and the silkworm seed industry in fact reached state-of-the-art levels here in the national field, constituting the first productive activity in the area for many decades and guaranteeing both male and predominantly female employment. The Museum therefore intends to return some traces of these memories, personal and collective, and of the complex agricultural, industrial, scientific and social world that revolved around this activity.

The breeding of the silkworm gave birth in the Vittoriese district to a real industrial sector that included bacological plants and spinning mills. However, the spinning of silk, like other textile fibers, remained a purely domestic or proto-industrial activity until the end of the eighteenth century when the first large reeling plants were built, namely the processing of cocoons.

Textile activity in the peasant world “was an ancient competence of women and was closely intertwined with her domestic duties and agricultural work”. In the country houses, under the portico, in the stables or in the open air, women spun and wove: silk, wool, hemp.
The processing of silk was transformed from an artisanal and domestic activity to an industrial activity, giving rise to the silk industry. The first large mechanical spinning factories in Vittorio Veneto were developed at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The oldest spinning mills were: Paludetti and Calbo-Crotta. The spinning mills all rose along the course of the Meschio river, from Savassa to San Giacomo.
From the industrial census of 1876, 10 spinning mills were functioning in Vittorio Veneto with a total of 763 women, 86 children and 21 men employed.
The overwhelming abundance of female workforce is justified by some basic reasons: the first is the natural inclination of women for textile activity given the skill of her hands; second, rural society provided an abundance of female workers.

The Museum returns some traces of these personal and collective memories, to tell the new generations and external visitors the complex agricultural, industrial, scientific and social world that for a long time revolved around this so useful insect.

Material of great interest, which previously belonged to individuals and companies that had operated in the bacological field, has been brought together and now finds its ideal location in an old spinning mill, one of the most consistent and oldest industrial complexes in Vittorio Veneto and the current seat of the Museum.

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