THE UMBRIAN TEXTILE TRADITION
Umbria is a lovely little region of central Italy, where the highest number of medieval villages in Italy are located between magnificent hills and valleys.
All the admirers of this splendid land, in addition to culture, art, nature and good food, appreciate the great Umbrian textile tradition for the home (towels, tablecloths, bedspreads, sheets, etc.) characterized by the quality of the materials, the accuracy of workmanship and details and the beauty of the designs and decorative motifs, often inspired by the culture and history of the region.
However, few know that the Umbrian textile tradition was born from far away and exactly from the so-called “tovaglie perugine” (Perugian tablecloths), which in the Middle Ages were a real status symbol of the ruling classes.
The “Perugian tablecloths” were made of white linen with blue and rarely rust-colored decorated bands, positioned on the short sides of the fabric, reproducing geometric motifs, animals or fantastic figures such as the griffin.
At first the Perugian tablecloths were used in the medieval churches of central Italy to embellish the altars. Subsequently, after the fifteenth century, their use spread among the nobles and the richest families not only in Italy, but as far as northern Europe, becoming an integral part of the wedding trousseau. And gradually from tablecloths they turned into towels, curtains and shawls. Even Caterina dei Medici in the precious dowry she brought to France for her marriage to King Henry II had the renowned “tovaglie perugine“.
These fabrics became so famous that they were painted more and more often, as can be seen for example in “The Last Supper” of the Master of the Palaces in Worcester, or in the Upper Basilica of Assisi in “The Supper of the Knight of Celano” by Giotto or in “The Last Supper” by Ghirlandaio in Florence.
Even today in the region there are workshops and artisan businesses that are inspired by the ancient Umbrian textile tradition and interpret it with a new spirit, creating beautiful household linen items.
In our online store you can find beautiful towels or beautiful American placemats, woven in Umbria in handcrafted looms, all in linen or linen blend, ideal for adding a touch of elegance and refinement to your home without sacrificing comfort.
(Images in order via tipicamenteumbria.it, google.com, etno-chic.com – Part of the images in this blog are taken from the web and used indicating the source. If there were photos subject to copyright, please contact us and they will be removed. Images owned by etno-chic.com can only be used by quoting the source and relink to the blog.)BATH TOWELS PLACEMATS