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Made in Florence: Antico Setificio Fiorentino

Antico Setificio Fiorentino

A historical workshop in Florence preserving tradition and craftsmanship.

Originally destined to grace noble families and their palaces, Antico Setificio Fiorentino and its lustrously woven silks are tucked away behind an unassuming gate in the San Frediano area of Florence. Antico Setificio opened its doors in 1786 when nine noble families decided to combine their personal workshops. Popes and Kings would marvel at the craftsmanship coming off of its looms (one designed by Leonardo da Vinci!). Today, those same looms are still used.

Silk production in Italy goes back to the 13th century when 2000 weavers came over from Constantinople. The desire for silk created the infamous Silk Road, which is where the exchange of culture happened. Everything from art to technology spread from country to country. When diseases like the bubonic plague spread by way of the Silk Road, this forced merchants to take to sea and commenced the Age of Discovery, creating the beginnings of a global society. So in a quiet little courtyard with the sounds of looms and shuttles clacking, you'll find a a little piece of history that is still surviving.

Everything is custom here, from dyeing the fabrics to the patterns. It is very satisfying to walk the streets of Florence and peek into small workshops that are still creating. The appreciation of artisanship and fine workmanship are still kept alive in certain parts of the world and is not completely lost in today's culture of fast fashion.

Antico Setificio Fiorentino

Via L. Bartolini, 4 50124 Firenze Tel. +39 055 213861


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