In Genoavese dialect a mandillu da gruppu means a “handkerchief you tie up”, and it’s the name of a big cotton handkerchief (31 ½ in by 31 ½ in) that was used by farmers in the countryside.
In the past the handkerchief was used to carry groceries, harvest fruit, pick mushrooms, and as a wrap for freshly-baked bread.
Women would knot it tightly and carry it in their arms or on their heads, while men would tie it to a stick and haul it on their backs.
Today it’s mostly used as a centerpiece or as a picnic dining mat, since the food inside will keep warm and pleasant and ready to serve once it’s unwrapped on the grass.
Its broad range of uses makes it akin to the Japanese furoshiki, the traditional fabric used to carry objects or wrap gifts.
Textile companies still produce it in the typical white and blue squares pattern with a red trim.
Production is limited to Liguria only.
A guide to using a furoshiki by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment
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/