Linen, precious as the future

Linen, precious as the future

Linen, precious as the future

Linificio and the rivers: a 150-year history


14 Mar 2023


The Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale’s history is strongly linked to the territory and its rivers.
First of all the Brembo river, on which the headquarter of Villa d’Almè is mirroring.
But the Adda river have had a central role in the development of the flax industry, too.
All in all three hydroelettric power plants were built to provide energy to the factories.

The oldest one is in Fara Gera d’Adda, it was built inside the factory, which started to work in 1895. The plant was powered by water which passed through the dam on a exhaust channel in the town of Saint Anna. Due to the expansion of production and the need of more power, in the 1908 the channel for water intake was enlarged to produce more electricity.

For this purpose, in the 1918 a two level power station was designed by Pietro Rusca, Plant Manager, in Cassano d’Adda. The plant was powered by the water which passed through a loading channel coming from the river. The Cassano d’Adda plant started to work in 1927.

To achieve the energetic emancipation of the lombard factories, in 1942 a new plant was designed by engineer Marco Semenza, but the construction works start only in 1947, after Second World War’s end.
The water was taken from the Concesa dam (hamlet of Trezzo d’Adda). Semenza made the engeneering project, but the architectural one was made by Piero Portaluppi, one of the most important Italian architect of the XX century, who designed also the previous Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale headquarter in Milan, in Ansperto street 5. The Portaluppi’s design gave to the plant a solemn appearance like the religious architecture.

Today, due to the changes occured in the last century, the power plants are no longer part of the Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale.
The energy demand is always high like the necessity to find a sustainable way to a low impact production. That’s why over 50% of the electrical energy used to produce yarns comes from renewable sources, reaching as much as 100% of the supply in Italy.