This article compares the impact of the economic crisis of 1787–1832, including the war and the loss of colonial markets, on the silk industry in Barcelona and Manresa, the two main centres of silk production in eighteenth-century Catalonia. In particular, it explores how families adopted different strategies in adapting to the crisis. Some moved into different sectors, including the emerging cotton industry, sometimes accompanied by geographical mobility. Others innovated by manufacturing specialised products, such as ribbons and handkerchiefs, often taking advantage of technological innovations in the textile industry. The article also offers some reflections on the role of women in these adaptative strategies, as far as the limited evidence allows.