the pattern tea towels
The Pattern tea towels are among the first products in our collection and still accompany us today, so much so that they can be considered classics. Three motifs with geometric shapes and uneven weaves in which white threads of cotton and colored threads of linen are alternated along the needles of the loom to capture the spirit of a contemporary time. The loom in question has been in operation for many years now in a family workshop, at the hands of a skilled South Tyrolean weaver, and the story we are going to tell you comes from this discovery.
However, a few words must be said firsly about the 'jacquard' weaving technique and its importance within our collection. Jacquard properly denotes a type of complex fabric in which the motif is woven into the fabric itself. The pattern, therefore, comes out from the alternation of warp and weft threads and the way these are woven, giving rise to figurative, geometric or modular motifs. The history of this type of fabric is inextricably linked to the loom. This, before becoming a machine within the artisan workshops, existed as part of a family dimension. Many weaving mills contain in their archives designs that have been handed down from generation to generation and which represent the stories of artisan knowledge of entire Italian regions.
This is the case of our craftsman, whose family's roots go back generations in weaving in Val Badia. Wondering through the valleys of the mountains, one could often across weaving mills where we could recognize the same aesthetic expressed with ornamental motifs, reminiscent of traditional vernacular ones. In fact, weaving has always existed in the mountains, because since each family constituted a self-sufficient unit, it provided all the work necessary for its livelihood, from the cultivation and making of cheese, to textile production, for ropes, sacks, tea towels and more.
Before the advent of synthetic fibers in the 1960s, the mountain valleys were painted with purple and sky-blue meadows and the cultivation of flax was widespread. This textile fibers were processed in the "masi", plots of land comprising the cultivation ground, barn, stable, kitchen and shed. Coarse and robust linen cloth was therefore produced. Parallel to the large textile industry that was developing in the major Italian economic centers and that was already echoing the Made in Italy label as a synonym for quality and manufacturing excellence, textile production also continued to maintain a domestic dimension in rural and peasant areas. Our weaver tells us of his grandfather going by bicycle, through the valleys, from village to village, to trade his own textiles. This textile business developed by weaving fabrics at first with hand looms, whose patterns were 'written' on squares of cardboard. With the passing of the years of work and creative research, a valuable archive was compiled. From the discovery of this archive, we can trace the history of this company, which, around the 1920s, saw the development of traditional jacquard fabrics alongside more anticipatory and modern patterns. During this period, the world's art scene, architecture and design were being overwhelmed by new ideals and aesthetic forms, but we are surprised to think that the wind of modernity had been able to sweep over the mountain tops and inspire the production reality of which we are telling.
But in leafing through the archive pages and the endless combinations of threads and colours, what led him to recognise precisely these three designs as embodying an anticipatory spirit?
This spirit guides our textile work every day and is what leads us to understand craftsmanship as contemporary. The key is in reading the qualitative aspect of craftsmanship, with all the historical baggage it carries, but at the same time, striving to free tradition in favor of a modern, contemporary spirit. We do not know what inspired our weaver's grandfather in the 1920s, during his creative experiments along the loom, but alongside the more traditional jacquards, the F28, F29 and F37 "fondi" stand out, in which geometric modules are repeated to form a combination that breaks away from the traditional figurative and instead echoes the absolute innovation of the modern movement.