From silk to polyester, a story to tell.


Enrico Boselli founded the company in 1898. Already in the first years of the 20th century the growth is evident in terms of the size of the industry, the number of employees and the increase of trade with exports also overseas.


The tradition

Alongside the traditional pure silk is the production of artificial fibers, first viscose then acetate.


Synthetic fibers

Synthetic fibers are introduced, the first being nylon which allows the launch of innovative products.


Textured polyester

Boselli is the first Italian silk industry to use textured polyester yarn in an industrial way.


Polyester Specialization

The specialization in polyester is complete, with important investments in the verticalization of the industrial structure, from the first processing of the raw yarn to the finished fabric. Boselli creates its own international commercial network.


New Products

The birth of new products that use polyester yarn technologies and Boselli approaches the packaging industry also linked to large retailers.

From 1990 to today

From 1990 to today

Boselli builds a twisting plant. In Olgiate it opens a finishing plant that integrates the production of the other plants with dyeing and finishing machinery.

From 1990 to today

Historical and technological evolution of the company Boselli 1898

Historical and technological context

1830: silk production is promoted and supported technically and economically by Austria and Germany. In the north of Italy, there were no factories or plants, the entrepreneurs made use of weavers who worked at home with hand looms and the professional experience was all to be built.
1860: the first industries were the spinning mills of Parè and Casanova. Young girls were often employed, who stayed out all week and slept in promiscuity, that often caused fatal diseases such as tuberculosis.
1866 Enrico Boselli, founder of the Boselli company, was born in Milan.

History Boselli company

In 1898 the E. Boselli company in Olgiate Comasco is born, with 150 looms. It is the most important company that marks the decisive turning point towards industrialization for the town of Olgiate, while integrating with the agricultural character of the prevailing economy of the area. Silk continues to be produced locally with the constant renewal of mulberry plantations.
1908: first strike and negotiations for wage rates
1913: capital increase, factory increase and increase up to 700 looms. The fabrics come out of Olgiate and go all over the world. The workers are mainly women, there are more than 1000 employees from all the neighboring villages. The workers who come from more distant villages do not return home, and for the whole week they stay in the banquet at the factory where they eat and sleep for 10 cents a day.
1914: First World War, the Boselli family is an example of magnificence despite the many difficulties
1926: E.Boselli continues to prosper, construction of a new plant in Gaggino
1930: Opening of another branch in Castelnuovo Bozzente with 88 looms and 100 weavers; new generation of automatic machines, in fact, synthetic fibers, which are treated with silk culture, will soon become the specialty of the Boselli company.
1935: technological changes and the first signs of crisis of silk weaving in the Como district
1940: the processing of synthetic fibers is already active
1948: crisis of textiles and specifically of silk textiles for competition on the international market
1952: closure of the Gaggino factory
1956: closing of Castelnuovo Bozzente factory
1960: intelligent and courageous work of technological renewal
1970: all industrial halls are rebuilt. The old mechanical frames are replaced with new generation automatic ones. Synthetic fibers are introduced, which are treated with the “silk culture” and soon become the specialty of the Boselli company.
1973: activated the dyeworks
1975: activated the printing house
1976: factory with 80 water jet looms, new packaging department, 7 new yarn texturing machines
1977: technological innovation with the replacement of water-bullet shuttle frames. All the machines are automated with electronic control systems, also the administrative sector is transformed with commitment of electronic tools for work programming, administration and management of orders 1989: in Tresenda, installed the first innovative electronic jacquard frames
1990: founded the company SiLinTsi and the construction of a new twisting plant in Tirano. Boselli enters the strategic processing of its raw material: polyester.
1995: construction of the new plant in via Repubblica in Olgiate Comasco and transfer of the dyeing and finishing departments.
1997: a total of 30 electronic jacquard looms in the Tresenda factory
1998: centenary of the E.Boselli Foundation

Historical Social Context

1898: after the settlement of the company Boselli, the village of Olgiate Comasco begins to change its face. Trailway, a new church, the first bank counter, renovated the old “Swan Hotel”, a new provincial road. With the changed social needs there is a new kindergarten, the local newspaper “Olgiate Life” is born. Olgiate Comasco is going to become a small town, and all this happens in about 15 years only.
1901: constituted the Chamber of Labour, of socialist inspirations, and at the same time the Catholic League of Labour. Negotiations on wage rates, the problem of working hours, the abolition of night work for women and children are very topical.
1902: strike also in Olgiate Comasco.
1908: May 21st strike negotiations for salary rates. The Boselli company is very prosperous.
1915-1918: First World War; the Boselli family is an example of magnificence, in spite of many difficulties.
1919: after the war, the recovery also brought a lively reactivation of the union world. From the world of work tensions spread to civil society, the Italian Textile Trade Union appears, whose secretary is Achille Grandi, who will be elected deputy and will be succeeded by Antonio Noseda, both from Como and both historical figures of Italian trade unionism. Noseda on March 24, 1919 goes in person and introduces the themes for the reduction of the timetable to 8 hours a day and on English Saturdays, half a day, minimum wage, etc. From the stage installed in the Boselli company, themes will then be discussed in Rome and will become law.
1924: great vitality in the village, the important and positive activity of the Boselli company is a reason for many young people from Olgiate to enroll in the silk factory school of Como to learn weaving and become manager in loom department.
1925: Enrico Boselli appointed Knight of Labor
1930: economic autarchy with incentives and awards given by the government to silkworm farmers – only the last flashes of an economy destined to disappear.
1975: there is not enough human labour to weaving and the third shift. The new plants move to Tresenda in Valtellina.
1987: exits Enrico Boselli and the guide of the company remains with Ludovico and Piero.
1995: the fourth Boselli generation with Aldo son of Enrico, Francesco son of Piero and Marco son of Ludovico.
1998: 150 employees in Olgiate Comasco and 60 employees in Tresenda. Boselli was one of the first Italian textile companies to understand the concept of the global market, therefore with a considerable propensity for direct service to customers. Curated by Nello Marelli

The story of E.Boselli & C. written and published in books:

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