The industrial history of wool

The Strada della Lana is the “route of wool” that joins Biella and Borgosesia, in Piedmont, wedging itself in the personal history of men and women of different generations. On woody hills, it crosses the paths that workers took every day to go from their villages to the wool factories.

It unravels following the streams along which factories could exploit the flow of water over vertical drops to action massive steel machinery, with ingenious systems of rotors and cables. It stumbles upon outstanding works of hydraulics, boarding schools, kindergartens, recreation centers. It passes through an extremely interesting and varied landscape, quietly telling the story of textile industrialization in Valle Strona and Valsassera.

It stops, at times, to better explain what drove such an extraordinary entrepreneurial experience: for example at the Fabbrica della Ruota – symbol of Biella’s industrial heritage – where the former Zignone wool factory has transformed into the perfect location for a permanent exhibition on the history of the textile sector.

It is, all in all, an amazing journey along fifty kilometers between nature and industry, woods and workshops.

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December 11, 2013

The industrial history of wool