A visit to Busatti in Anghiari
My friend Dinah had a guest visiting from Canada who has an interest in fabrics and textiles. I had heard about a tour of a textile factory from the college that I graduated from, Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, Each semester, their study abroad program in Sancepolcro (about 30 minutes from Arezzo) takes the students to tour the Busatti textile factory in nearby Anghiari. (North Carolina has a strong textile industry) I suggested to Dinah that her friend might enjoy seeing this and ‘Oh, I’d like to go along too’. Dinah called or emailed and made arrangements.
So off we went. Our tour was conducted by one of the current owners and a member of the Busatti family.
It starts with the machines that are used now only one time a year to card and spin sheep fleece into wool. A very limited production of wool is made this way to keep the tradition a live.
From the wool area we moved into a storage area
of all the beautiful linen threads. Flax to make linen threads used to come from Ireland but within the last ten years the economy of Ireland has changed and the company could no longer reliably source the flax from there. (I forgot where it comes from now. Gosh, I hope that won’t be on the quiz) I thought that was very interesting how the production of a crop in a whole country could change and how it could effect a company in another country.
Also stored here are the ‘punch cards’ for the patterns that make up the fabric. This is the way fabric has been made since long before IBM computers started using punch cards.
From there we moved into the noisy part. Where fabric is actually being made.
Punch cards telling the machine what to do
That’s a lot of fiber…..
You can just make out the colors that will become
I neglected to take a shot upstairs in the showroom. So I am not able to give you a true sense of the beauty of the fabric. I strongly suggest that you visit their web site for that or one of their many world wide shops.
I also suggest that if you are in the area you consider stopping by for a tour if you have any interest in how things are made or fabric, or artisanal practices. I thought the tour was extremely interesting. I am so glad that I tagged along.