In 1921, Giuditta Brozzetti started a weaving school for young girls in Italy and four generations later, the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti continues the tradition, thanks to the TreadRight Heritage Initiative and Trafalgar. Nicholas Lim, President for Trafalgar (Asia) and President of the Travel Corp. (India) tells us about the initiative.
Located in the region of Umbria, Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti is a project supported by Trafalgar and the Treadright Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation founded by Trafalgar’s parent company The Travel Corporation’s family of brands.
Using funds provided by the TreadRight Heritage Initiative grants program, Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti continues to promote education in the tradition of weaving, and helps provide a stable source of income for the community of weavers.
Giuditta Brozzetti (1877-1975) was a housewife turned elementary school director who travelled by horse-drawn carriage through the Italian countryside in the middle of the First World War. She was trying to set up schools in the rural areas and found many women working on wooden looms weaving textiles when she visited the homes of the farmers living around Perugia.
Fascinated and inspired by the textiles, Brozzetti became a pioneering female entrepreneur and founded a workshop in 1921, dedicated to the production of high quality artistic textiles for the home. She registered with the Italian Craftsmen Guild and opened a workshop in Umbria’s capital city, focused on hand-woven fabrics and traditional damask. She then founded a weaving school for young girls to learn how to create textile art and preserve the tradition of hand-woven textiles. Brozzetti dedicated her time to conserving traditional motifs found on Etrusacan tombs and pottery, making handmade sketches of patterns from renaissance cloth. Many of her original sketches are still on display and the geometric designs are incorporated into the workshop’s pieces.
Four generations later, the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti is one of the few remaining traditional frame hand-weaving workshops in Italy. The fabrics are woven using the original antique looms and following the same traditional techniques Giuditta Brozzetti helped to ensure were carried on nearly a century ago.
The workshop and atelier is now located inside the Church of San Francesco delle Donne in the medieval city of Perugia, Italy. When you visit, you will find antique looms lined up within each arch of the arcaded aisles. You will learn about the history of Umbrian weaving, as you admire the workshop’s delicate, colorful recreations of Deruta ceramic-inspired embroidery, veil-like silk and linen curtains, and cashmere- and gold-threaded tapestries.
Giuditta’s granddaughter, Clara Baldelli Bombelli now runs the atelier and is a textile historian with a wealth of knowledge about how the textile industry played a large influence on politics and the economy of the region. Her daughter, Marta Cucchi is a master weaver who researches history patterns by studying paintings featuring Umbrian cloths in Renaissance art by 14th and 15th century painters, from Simone Martini to Pietro and even Leonardo da Vinci. By doing so, Marta tries to uncover patterns that have been lost to the weaving community over the centuries.
The atelier’s hand-woven pieces range from bed linen to tablecloths to cushion covers, are all works of art and you can even purchase the beautiful table runners to hang up on your wall as tapestries.
The Region of Umbria has officially included the Brozzetti workshop under its museum system for its work to preserve Perugia’s hand-weaving traditions.
Take home a piece of history with Brozzetti-made pieces inspired by Renaissance patterns. If you’re not able to visit the atelier, you can also find some of their designs in the National Gallery of Umbria’s bookshop or in selected shops in Umbria.
Photos courtesy: Trafalgar
(#JoinTrafalgarTravel Today, Sustain Tomorrow – Meet the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise in Perugia. Experience a kaleidoscope of colours, fragrances and tastes as you explore Italy with Trafalgar’s Italy Bellessimo trip. You will visit different cities in Italy, starting from Rome to the coast, and to the island of Capri. Stay in an old Franciscan convent in the birthplace of St Francis, Assisi originally built for pilgrims and now a modern hotel. Trafalgar seeks to create opportunities for guests and gain a deeper understanding of each destination they visit, to learn about the history and culture, through enriching experiences. On this trip, you will discover the history of Italian hand-weaving during a private demonstration, and see how your visit helps preserve this traditional art form.)