Italian textile firm Tessival SpA on Monday revealed it had placed a huge order with Sulzer Textil for more than 400 projectile weaving machines as it looks to modernise and expand its production bases.

The Fiorano al Serio-based firm did not reveal how much the order was worth but said the 412 machines will be used for textiles ranging from fine poplin fabrics through dense tickings and loomstate clothing fabric to heavy bull denim.

Of that total, 156 will partly replace the existing machine inventory at the Fiorano facility, while a new weaving room for 256 projectile weaving machines is will be built at the Airola plant.

Technical director, Mosé Poli, said: "We have been producing with projectile weaving machines for decades, and we know how versatile and reliable they are.

"These machines are flexible all-rounders which meet our high quality standards and give us the security of being able to respond quickly to our customers’ wishes."

Delivery and installation are due to begin this year and will continue through 2004 and beyond, he added.