The origins of the Catalan steel industry are directly connected with the industrialisation of textiles. Many of the most important machinery manufacturers of the 20th century had their origins as repair and construction workshops for textile machinery. In the early years of industrialisation, this machinery was purchased from overseas.
Josep Sanglas and Josep Serra are the finest example of this close relationship. One was a cotton merchant, the other a mechanic, together they were to manufacture continuous spinning machines and set up what was, until the 1960s, the largest Catalan textile machinery company.