CONTEXT – ABOUT THE ONGOING PROJECT IN ITALY

The art of weaving has ancient roots in Udine’s province, especially in Carnia (mountains’ area), and its “golden age” was in the period from early 1700s to late 1800s, with a big boost to this activity based on the talent, intelligence and entrepreneurial capacity of Jacopo Linussio (1691 ­ 1748) who created, in a few years, a complex manufacturing employment system, with more than thirty thousand employees. “The weaving enterprise” of Jacopo Linussio was considered at the time the largest in Europe and, supported by Venice’s Republic, he was exporting its manufactured goods up to the most distant countries of Asia and the Americas.

The art of embroidery has also been present in Friuli and Udine since the 1700s, with artistic and folk traditions related to fabrics and textile tools being documented and practiced in Tolmezzo (Carnia area), as well as special stitches used in embroidery. In the province of Udine, in Brazza, in 1891, a school of lace and embroidery was founded, having up to 130 students aged between 7 and 17 years at a time during the 20th century. The tradition of embroidery and lace is carried on today by the regional school of Gorizia, with many contemporary laboratories which still produce fabrics with wooden frames, inspiring by local traditions.

Regarding sewing and knitting (as well as local crochet techniques) as a handicraft in Italy, this has became a popular hobby for young people, which try to discover old traditions, not only in relation to sweaters or blankets (formats), but also jewelry and works in 3D, a real trend that engages more and more people born after 1980, male or female, inspired from the tutorials on the web and new digital tools ­ a target group which the project categorizes as “digital natives”.

Today, in the province of Udine, there are 77 SMEs operating in the “Textile weaving”, and 123 SMEs active in the “Manufacture of wearing apparel”, which includes knitting and sewing artisanship. The textile sector artisans in Udine are mainly women over 45 years of age. There are also some family­run companies which pass down ancient traditions about weaving and embroidering between generations. They usually use social media to contact their clients and they would like to improve their business model through digitisation. Young stakeholders of this community of practice are mainly students, attending local high schools (aged 14-­19), but the project would like to involve children from primary school (aged 8­-11) and young/adults from University or training courses (aged 19-­30).

 

Local Partners

Confartigianato-Imprese Udine

Udine 3D conference (November 2016), in Udine

Friuli Doc 2016/2017 (4 days, second weekend of September) in Udine.

Progetto MANI” by Confartigianato­Imprese Udine. Access to database, workshop and meeting with young people (aged 19­30), who want to improve skills and competences on their business attitude related to artisanship and handicraft .

“Maestri di Mestiere” by Confartigianato­Imprese Udine. Workshops and labs about handwork technics involving primary schools’ children and their families.

STAFF

Gian Luca Gortani, Confartigianato Imprese Udine

Gian Luca Gortani, Confartigianato Imprese Udine

General Manager

glgortani@uaf.it

Luca Nardone, Confartigianato Imprese Udine

Luca Nardone, Confartigianato Imprese Udine

Workshop Leader and Project Manager

lnardone@uaf.it

Saul Darù (Consultant)

Saul Darù (Consultant)

Illustrator and Graphic Artist

Rachele Francescutti, Confartigianato Imprese Udine

Rachele Francescutti, Confartigianato Imprese Udine

Artistic Craftsmanship Appointed

rfrancescutti@uaf.it

Federica Manaigo, Creaa (Consultant)

Federica Manaigo, Creaa (Consultant)

Communication Project Manager

manaigo@innovazionecreaativa.it

PARTICIPANTS

Professionals and amateurs compose the regional textile handicraft community of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Confartigianato-Imprese Udine – as a trade association – first of all supports training and working opportunities in a professional perspective. For that reason, our target groups are mainly professional artisans and entrepreneurs working in the textile sector. According to the target group, there is a need for building a regional network, because they do not know each other and they don’t exploit the big communicative potential of regional textile heritage. Filling this gap the project involved, in some workshops, high school students (artistic lyceum, fashion design curriculum) teachers, practitioners, textile museums operators.

Companies: Arteviva, Blunotte, De Sabbata Elena, Emozioni by Gloria De Martin, Filafiabe, Il Ricamificio, L’oca Bianca e Altre Storie, Maglificio Del Zotto, Michelangelo Ricami, Sonia Casari, Tessitura, Carnica

Schools: Liceo Artistico “G. Sello” di UdineFondazione Scuola Merletti di Gorizia

Museums: Museo Etnografico del FriuliMuseo Carnico delle Arti Popolari “Michele Gortani”Museo della Moda e delle Arti applicate

Workshop 1

Date and place

24 October 2016 – Confartigianato Imprese Udine

Participants

Mainly professional artisans and entrepreneurs working in the textile sector.

Subjects

  • Introduction and presentation of the international project EUdigiTAC.
  • Explanation about User Centered Design Process.
  • Gathering information about: artisans, digital tools used, personal experiences and wishes.
  • Discussion around project purposes and possibilities.
  • A debate about a regional community of practiceonline resourcescultural heritage available and target group (+ sector) habits.

Outcomes

Professionals and amateurs compose the regional textile handicraft community. Confartigianato Imprese Udine – as a trade association – first supports training and working opportunities in a professional perspective.

The workshop participants are mainly professional artisans and entrepreneurs working in the textile sector, the project staff found it very hard to involve artisans who are completely disconnected. IT literate people compose the target group; nevertheless, their competencies are very different (from very few to wide). They all surf the web, some of them use digital tools for work and knowledge purposes.

Participants are inclined to share their knowledge and experience. They would like to develop their audience and reputation, but they often experience lack of time.

Artisans involved admitted there is a need for building the regional network, because sometimes they do not know each other. At the same time participants agreed that the Friuli Venezia Giulia important textile heritage as a cultural product deserves to be better known and promoted.

Workshop 2

Date and place

8 February 2017 – Confartigianato Imprese Udine

Participants

High school students (artistic lyceum, fashion design curriculum), teachers, practitioners, textile museums operators.

Subjects

  • Introduction and presentation of the international project EUdigiTAC and results of workshop n.1
  • Collective mapping of regional textile materials, techniques, and knowledge
  • Participatory recognition about more and less known elements of the map
  • Group game: imagining new companies that combine traditional elements and digital tools
  • Group game: negotiating singular points of view to find a collective vision

Outcomes

High school students (artistic lyceum, fashion design curriculum) for this workshop were invited, who participated alongside with teachers, practitioners and textile museums operators.

One of the topics of discussion was around information gap:

  • wider audiences don’t have any basic education around textile issues
  • the great regional textile heritage is not easily accessible on-line, especially for non-Italian speakers and/or not expert people
  • some documents need a long work to be digitalized (e.g. the numerous weaver notebooks)
  • young people (even interested in this field) don’t know where to find resources

The group debated about the topics that should be taught and spread. They chose collectively three fundamental themes:

  1. Decoration and symbolism
  2. Natural fibers production
  3. Traditional clothing and accessories (concept and design)

An innovative way for developing textile handicraft is the cross-hybridazing between ancient processing techniques and new applications (e.g. “Merletto” is used now for jewelry or complement accessories). Some important heritage elements are unlikely actualizable, such as altar cloths, nevertheless people are interested in learning some techniques if they can see future work possibilities.

Workshop 3

Date and place

2 March 2017 – Confartigianato Imprese Udine

Participants

Mainly professional artisans and entrepreneurs working in the textile sector.

Subjects

  • Short summary of results from workshops n.1 and n.2 and discussion
  • Updating information about: artisans, digital tools used, personal experiences and wishes.
  • How can we tell about our local textile heritage in an innovative way?
  • How can we promote our companies through traditional techniques in an original and “fresh” way?
  • How can we create new audiences (both as prospects/clients and as new artisans?