|The first photo above is a silkworm incubator, once found in many cottages. You can see the oil lamp beneath the cabinet used to incubate the eggs. The second photo is a dye vat for finished cloth.
I caught the fast ferry from Bellagio to visit the Museum of Silk in Como, an hour’s journey away. There is a long history of silk production around Lake Como and, although the raw silk is now mostly brought in from Asia, at one time there was a thriving cottage industry in silk production. Silkworms only eat mulberry leaves and, to this day, you can still see mulberry trees in the area.
The museum exhibits a stunning collection of early dyeing and printing equipment, old pattern books and photographs. There are displays that chart the fabric production process.