Working as Italian fabric manufacturers is an adventure. Especially if you’re working on handlooms. Add that to the fact that these looms date back to the 18th century and you can realise why becoming a weaver takes some time. Let Silvia, one of our weavers, give you the whole picture of this process.
Training as Italian fabric manufacturers
During the 19th century, the road to becoming a weaver was extremely long, it lasted 8 years and began very early, at 9 or 10 years old. Even until recently this training was longer than now: today we try to complete it within 1 year, to face all the orders we get, but some years ago it took at least 2 years.
Only after this time a weaver can start working on fabrics on her own.
“While I was studying Textiles at the Art Institute I heard about Tessitura Bevilacqua. So, after finishing my studies I sent them my CV and had a stroke of luck, because they were actually looking for new weavers”.
But this was only the beginning: “upon arriving here, you need a new theoretical and practical training. These looms can’t be found in any school, obviously, so most of our training took place here”.
It’s only thanks to this training and to daily experience that they can discover, for example, the value of humidity: if the room is too arid, the threads are lacking the friction that keeps them twisted around the reels. That’s why during winter, when humidity is not enough, weavers throw some water below the creel, the tool holding the reels.
The secret to keep a tradition alive
The tutors of all new weavers at Bevilacqua’s are the elder ones: those who trained Silvia and the other 5 who are now working have now all retired. Aì”And we’ll do exactly the same: we’ll hand down our knowledge to those who’ll start working here in the next years”.
So this century-old tradition can survive thanks to the ability and passion of these craftspeople who know the importance of letting others know about it.