A Return to the Roots of the Italian Textile Industry

Clinging to the Tuscan hillsides surrounding Florence, the Fondazione Lisio builds on over two hundred years of textile technology to train students from around the world in all stages of the art of weaving, from conception to the carding of motifs and the effective production of bolts of fabric on artisanal looms.
Fondazione Lisio
In the various workshops, whose windows open onto the surrounding olive groves and bell towers, several generations of machines and technological innovations exist side-by-side. From old wooden looms for manual weaving, though the mechanized equipment invented by Jacquard in 1801 and onto the screens and keyboards of the digital era, the entire history of the evolution of the textile industry unfolds before the eyes of students and visitors alike.
Fondazione Lisio
Gathered here along the Tuscan countryside are people from around the world – students of fine art and textile design, professionals in career transition, or simply amateurs eager to learn about the diverse array of weaving techniques. The training period, which can vary from a few weeks to a few months, introduces the entire history of Florentine creativity from the Renaissance to the present day, while superimposing onto this history the technological evolution of weaving in order to offer trainees a unique experience and a personalized approach to textile design and creation.
Fondazione Lisio
For Eva Basile, who was a student of Fondazione Lisio in 1993 before becoming one of its head instructors, “in recent years, time has accelerated.” Thanks to new technologies, both the development period and project costs for textiles have been reduced, allowing for easier study and development of new types of weaves commissioned by luxury houses such as Fendi and Cartier, which the staff of the foundation produces in the workshops. While the number of projects initiated at the request of fashion houses and designers has not stopped growing, the replication of each model has recently become less numerous; series are increasingly more exclusive and limited.
Fondazione Lisio
At the same time, the logic of acceleration has also affected the duration of trainings offered by the foundation. In order to adapt to the request of trainees who do not wish to be obligated to spend several months in Florence to learn the various aspects of silk weaving, the foundation now offers more specialized training formats. These professional training sessions, which previously welcomed groups of five or six trainees for a three-month period, are now broken down into smaller formats offering one week programs to the public who wish to learn the basics of weaving. This has emerged as one way to reconcile the long history of the Italian textile industry with the rapid pace of contemporary life.
www.fondazionelisio.org