The Costume Gallery of Florence keeps a prestigious collection of antique fabrics, most of which still unknown to the public and experts. The gem of the collection are the 400 pieces of silk velvet produced between the XV and the XVII centuries by the most qualified weavers in Europe.
The gem of the collection are the 400 pieces of silk velvet produced between the XV and the XVII centuries by the most qualified weavers in Europe. Through the costumes of the collection the author recreates the history of silk velvet, a luxurious fabric with an ever-changing aspect through the centuries, sometimes characterized by its brightness and sometimes by a plastic look. The study about the Italian manufactures of the time, leader on a worldwide scale in this field, is based on the analysis of single pieces and the legislations adopted in the main centers of production such as Florence, Genoa, Lucca, Milan, and Venice. The results of this research are exposed with the help of color images and are a fundamental contribution to the study of ancient fabrics.