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PROUD TO BE LOCAL

And today I bring you a little bit of history !!!


Are you curious to know where THECATBRANDW is made and why? Come on, let's go into the tunnel of time. Quality knitted fabric is one of our hallmarks. This comfortable, soft and enveloping weave is worked especially in this particular area of Catalonia, where we have gone to look for it. We want to vindicate and value the know-how of a local industry that in its time was huge, that still exists today and that it is necessary, more than ever, to continue supporting.




1. BEACH & KNITWEAR

Long, sandy beaches at the foot of the mountains of the coastal range just a few kilometers from Barcelona. Here, in the Maresme, THECATBRANDW is made. And why precisely here? Well, because of the industrial peculiarity of this strip dotted with coastal towns: it happens to be a pioneering area in Spain in the knitwear industry, and one of the first in Europe. Where did this know-how come from? From the handlooms that arrived in Spain in the 17th century via France, between 1680 and 1682.



Mataró village of the XIX century.

View of the Mataró coast.

2. 19TH CENTURY, THE KEY MOMENT

This love affair between knitted fabrics and El Maresme took place with the textile modernization of the 19th century, specifically in 1834, when cotton spinning was mechanized. After 1875 it was already established as a key area in the manufacture of cotton knitwear. This process was fast and intense, specialized factories began to flourish and with them their entrepreneurs, feeding the boom of the Catalan industrial bourgeoisie. But... Why in these coastal towns near Barcelona?



In the picture above Nau petita Can Marfa, Mataró. Belonging to the Marfa family, textile bourgeoisie of the 19th century. Today (below) the factory is restored as a museum of knitwear.


3. WOMEN: KEY TO DEVELOPMENT

Because of the long tradition of knitted craftsmanship that had existed since the 17th century. Therefore, there was an excellent specialized labor force, especially women, considered cheaper and less conflictive at that time when the mostly male labor movement began to organize in radical political fronts.



Catalan dressmakers of the 19th century.

Maresme textile factory, early 20th century.

4. CLOSE TO BARCELONA, WELL CONNECTED

The availability of a modern transportation system, already in operation since 1848, was another decisive factor. The railroad allowed fast, cheap and agile access to the nearby city of Barcelona, one of the European textile capitals. And from its port, onward to the world.



Town of Arenys de Mar, XIX century.

5. THE INDIAN INFLUENCE

The accumulated knowledge that the coastal region had thanks to a long commercial tradition also had an influence, which allowed the exchange in nearby and distant markets. In addition, this was boosted by the colonial routes via Cuba and the Philippines, Spanish colonies of the time. Some of the capitalist partners of the first knitwear factories in the region came from Cuba (Indians).


Catalan community in Cuba.


6. THE BOOM OF THE BOURGEOISIE AND ITS LEGACY

Modernism triumphed in Catalonia as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution and with it, a "modern" way of life, which was represented in art and culture, with architects (such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Gaudí), artists (Ramón Casas, Santiago Rusiñol) or thinkers (Eugeni d'Ors), who saw the world in a different way. The new Catalan bourgeoisie, with its strong purchasing power and its desire for change, encouraged and patronized this influential movement.



Coll i Regàs House, 1898, Mataró. By the famous architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch.


La Confianza grocery store, Mataró. Josep Puig i Cadafalch of 1896.



A large part of the Catalan bourgeoisie came from families with fortunes in the textile industry.


A work by Manuel Cusí y Ferret, Catalan portraitist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Prominent artists of the time captured the lifestyle of that thriving bourgeoisie.
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