Museo del Tessuto (textile museum)
The Museo del Tessuto is situated in Prato, Tuscany, just 15km from Florence airport. Prato has been home to the textile industry since the Middle Ages and even today is one of the most important textile districts in Europe.
The Museums collection was established in 1975 and comprises approximately 6000 exhibits, which illustrate textile art and techniques from the early Christian era to the present day. Within the Museum, visitors can also see a collection of 19th century fashion plates, machines and weaving, dyeing and finishing tools from various historical periods. These exhibits are uniquely housed in mobile display cases so they can be frequently changed and updated.
The Museum itself is housed in one of Pratos manufacturing factories and is itself a fine example of industrial architecture.
The Collections include samples of clothing a furnishing fabrics designed by famous artists such as Henry Moore and Gio Ponti, as well as ethnic fabrics from India, China, Japan and Central and South America. They also show Pratos growth after the Second World War into one of the main centres of world fashion for fabrics and yarns; Prato had embraced the use of synthetic fibres, stretch fabrics and fake furs. Other highlights of the Museum collection include a mantle woven for His Holiness John Paul II for the opening of the Holy Door on the occasion of the Great Jubilee of 2000 and the Jacquard loom introduced by Giovan Battista Mazzoni.
The Museum houses a specialised bookshop on textile art and traditions, a reference library containing catalogues of Italian and international exhibitions and essays on textile technologies and history. They provide guided tours in Italian and other languages (book in advance) along with specialised tours for researchers or students with particular interests in certain sections; they have their own workshop for conservation and restoration work on the textiles; and they offer seminars and workshops on subjects such as embroidery, dyeing techniques, patchwork, weaving and textile art.
The Museo del Tessuto in Prato is situated within the city’s medieval walls and can be reached by easily by train, bus and car. It has disabled access throughout the Museum.
More information can be obtained from:
Associazione Amici Museo del Tessuto
Via Santa Chiara, 24
Tel: +39 0574 611503
Fax: +39 0574 444585