We The Italians | Italian handcrafts: Lisio Silk

Italian handcrafts: Lisio Silk

Italian handcrafts: Lisio Silk

  • WTI Magazine #133 Nov 14, 2020
  • 46

Manifattura Arte della Seta Lisio (the Lisio Silk Art Factory) was established in Florence in 1906 by Giuseppe Lisio, a determined and enterprising man from Abruzzo. Trained in the field as a representative of Luigi Osnago di Milan, an important weaving factory that participated in the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris, Lisio nurtured the dream of establishing his own company to match the splendours of Italian Renaissance silk weaving.

For years he collected photographs of artworks, antique fabric samples and books, and complied documents from visits to museums, churches and palaces. He learned to appreciate the beauty and quality of Italian-made fabrics from the golden age of silk artistry, which he chose as the leitmotif and purpose of his life.

For years he collected photographs of artworks, antique fabric samples and books, and complied documents from visits to museums, churches and palaces. He learned to appreciate the beauty and quality of Italian-made fabrics from the golden age of silk artistry, which he chose as the leitmotif and purpose of his life.

The goal he constantly pursued was excellence in woven products with pure silk weft and warp. He paid obsessive attention to details, in his search for a harmonious aesthetic result achieved by the right combination technique, yarns, colours and decorations.

The foundation produces exquisite cut, uncut and ciselé velvets, and brocades with silks, gold and silver woven on ancient hand looms. The products may follow classical designs, handed down within the textile tradition, or can be specially designed according to the requirements of the customer.

The fabrics produced by Arte della Seta Lisio enjoyed international success, which continued after the death of its founder, in 1943, through the work of his daughter Fidalma, who established Fondazione Arte della Seta Lisio (the Lisio Silk Art Foundation) in 1971 to pursue her father’s goals.

As part of its art work, the Lisio Foundation has experimented with the introduction of horsehair, a fibre that is not commonly used to make fabrics. It was used in a project by the artist Francesco Carone for the “banner” of the Palio di Siena in 2011. The use of this fibre in weaving is only possible on a manual loom, which allows the yarn to be inserted into the weaving by hand. 

By Camera di Commercio di Firenze with Unioncamere