The principal industries include the weaving of linen and damasks, bleaching, distilling and malting.
Italy, the early home of the silk trade in Europe, the land of the gorgeous velvets of Genoa and the damasks and brocades of medieval Sicily, Venice and Florence, now takes only a sixth place, the centre of greatest activity being at Como; but Genoa still makes velvets, and the brocades of Venice are not a thing of the past.
It is one of the chief manufacturing places in Rhenish Prussia, its principal industries being the spinning and weaving of cotton, the manufacture of silks, velvet, ribbon and damasks, and dyeing and bleaching.
Its damasks and other silk stuffs with patterns of extraordinary beauty surpassed in variety and splendour those of the other chief centres of silk-weaving, such as Florence and Genoa.
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