There was a moment in history when clothing and upholstery fabrics became different from each other: during the 16th century. Today we’re taking you back exactly to that time, to tell you about one of our velvets, used both for clothes and for furnishing: the Rinascimento velvet.

Rinascimento velvet | Tessitura Bevilacqua

Rinascimento velvet: an example of Italian Renaissance clothing fabrics

During the second half of the 16th century, noble classes keep on parading their wealth. So fabrics, too, became more and more precious, with slashes revealing contrasting fabrics, decorations with pearls and other jewels and elaborate motifs.

The key players of these patterns were natural elements: long wavy stems accompanied by stylized flowers and leaves, increasingly rich in details, inside a lattice structure. This was true of both upholstery and clothing fabrics, though in the latter patterns grew smaller.

And the Rinascimento velvet is an example of this new pattern size. Divided into small ogives consisting of thin stems, it contains the simplified versions of the most characteristic fruits and flowers featured on Renaissance patterns: carnations, lotus and thistle flowers and especially pomegranates.

These elements had quite an interesting meaning: pomegranates were associated with immortality, whereas carnations and thistle flowers kept on standing for the Passion of Christ during the Renaissance, as they did in previous centuries. As a consequence, they represented salvation as well. Thistles are indeed covered in thorns, and the seeds of carnations resemble nails.

Whereas 16th-century nobles used motifs such as this on their clothes, our Rinascimento velvet has been employed for various purposes.

Where was the Rinascimento velvet used?

Our fabric became indeed part of both clothing and furnishing items, namely:

  • in 1931 it decorated the armchairs of the Conte di Savoia ocean liner, together with the Giardinetto soprarizzo velvet;
  • we produced its mechanical version using our power looms for the Grand Hotel Savoy in Moscow;
  • in 2000 Dolce&Gabbana chose it for miniskirts and other garments of their spring/summer haute couture collection;
  • in 2009 it overlaid the cover of a book on the works by Antonio Canova, carved on marble, which was a gift for the heads of State taking part in the G8 summit in L’Aquila.

Different uses, then, but sharing the refinement that the Renaissance motif on this velvet can convey.

Conte di Savoia ocean liner-Colonna Lounge | Tessitura Bevilacqua
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