The year was 1871. The wind of the Industrial Revolution was blowing across the Channel from England towards the Continent. In a factory building near Como there was much coming and going. A large number of men were hard at works setting up more looms than anyone had ever seen in one place at the same time. These were the looms that were to produce the famous dyed silk filament made by Fermo Fossati, the oldest silk mill in Italy and the third oldest in Europe, preceded only by the English firms Vanners and Stephen Walters & Sons Ltd. At first Fermo Fossati produced fabrics for furnishings and clothing, and when the tie took on its modern form in the early years of the century, it was the first company to make this accessory its standby.