Books and territory / Water and silk
Discorso storico sui setifici
The Discorso begins with the history of the ancient craftsmanship of silk, and how the first silk products came into the Mediterranean from Tyre and Sidon Phoenixes, who were already trading with India. Giambattista Peretti from Piedmont dedicates his essay to Ferdinand IV of Bourbon. At the end of the 1700s the art of silk is employed again in Sicily and Peretti is invited to move there as an “expert on silk”. In the Discorso the author, who became director of the Royal Factory of Silk in Palermo, advices the sovereign on some measures that can be taken to revitalize the silk industry, having as a model the Piedmont one.
From the XII century, Italy has been the major manufacturer of silk. From Palermo the craftsmanship of silk spreads to the whole Italy and Europe. In the first half of the 1700s Piedmont can prouds itself with silk of the best quality and the most expert “filatoieri” of all Europe.
In principio di questo Secolo solamente il Piemonte non riputavasi ancor gran fatto per paese di Setifìcio, ed il genio , che allora vi regnava , opponeva mille oracoli all’incremento del medesimo. Ma il Duca Vittorio Amedeo di Savoja , che fu poi primo Re di Sardegna, dopo il suo ritorno dalla Sicilia , seppe con animo vigoroso , e spregiudicato vincere, ed atterrare tutti essi ostacoli.