Informations and abstract
This paper aims to have a general, quantitative look at the Italian silk industry at the end of the 18th century, that's to say, at the end of a long process of transformation, and just before the changes caused by the Napoleonic occupation of Italy. The author tries to reconstruct the production and the export of raw silk, spun silk and silk clothes. He also tries to assess the value created by each branch of this industry. Studies generally published in the last thirty years are used, and sometimes, when necessary, original sources too. Among other things, the paper shows that at the end of the 18th century urban silk weaving industry was still very important, with its 24-25,000 looms and 34-35,000 workers, even if, of course, the principal branch of Italian silk industry was the production of spun silk which was concentrated, almost entirely, in Northern Italy.