Rust-printing techniques spread across Romagna, a Region in the North of Italy, during the seventeenth century. In the beginning it is used to decorate oxen blankets with holy images against bad luck and to bring them to cattle markets.
But over time the decoration moves into bridal hope chests: pomegranates, grapes, ears of wheat, cocks and doves, all wishing fertility and abundance to the newlyweds. The iconography takes after Byzantine motifs, brocades and aristocratic damasks: this way even lower class families can enjoy the vicarious thrill of precious fabrics.
The key to a well-made print, though, is the color. Each printer has its own secret recipe, passed down from generation to generation. They all share the same ingredients: flour, vinegar and rusted irons, and the amazing abilitity of the printer to shape them into flowers and fantastic creatures. Nowadays the oldest atelier still in business is Stamperia Marchi. It’s here, in the late 1800s, where young Sante Pracucci, known as E' tintour (the dyer), apprentices. From that moment on Sante observes master printers, learns the secrets to preparing the perfect color, and studies the craft of whittling to create new pear-wood stamps. Soon this job becomes his passion, and he sells his house to buy up the enterprise. During the Second World War he saves the entire archive by hiding it in an undisclosed location. Today, thanks to his bravery, his great-grandchildren Laura and Gabriele Marchi can continue using around two thousand stamps from various times in history (from Malatesta insignia to Futuristic airplanes). The entire lab is an homage to the past: the printers still use a seventeenth century mangle (wood wheel) to pull the fabric taut before decorating it. The wheel, man-operated, moves a five-tonne stone that softens the fibers, allowing the dye to seep deeply. The process usually takes a few days, but more complex designs can require up to a month. In those cases the Marchis work on commission: the waiting period lends an extraordinary air to the piece, transforming a bedspread or a dowry into coalesced history and material culture.
Fattobene means well made in Italian. It is an online shop and a platform to archive and sell Italian everyday archetypes that have a long history.
We travel through Italy to discover special and unique items, like art déco soaps and modernist saffron packagings, old time candies and niche farmers' textiles that have been producing the same way for hundreds of years.
We want to create a place where people can relax and read interesting stories about objects that are difficult to find anywhere else.
The result is a cutting edge collection of timeless items that improve with age and create an atlas of Italian material culture.
Fattobene is curated by Anna Lagorio, journalist, and Alex Carnevali, photographer.
Visual identity and web design by AV.
If you have questions, want to suggest new items or simply say hello, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a journalist, you can download our presskit here or write us at email@example.com
Go to the shop now: http://shop.fatto-bene.com/