ANDREA SEBASTIANELLI




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Piume vellutate

2019









In 2019 Prato Textile Museum together with Santo Tirsto Municipality (Portugal), Nordiska Textilakademin (Sweden), Strzemiński Academy Of Fine Arts Łódź (Poland) and The City Council Of Gironella (Spain) awarded 3 young designers under 30 to design contemporary products, drawing inspiration from archival materials.




Whilst exploring the online archive, I was attracted to the rich velvet collection presented in all five museum catalogues.
The collection consists of samples, fragments and objects collected by various museums from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Poland. The number of the collected samples of velvet demonstrate the transition from the craft production (15th century) to the industrial (late 20th century). In this respect, the investigation of Velvet textiles is particularly relevant for the analysis of historical motifs, colors and symbolism.

During the Renaissance, velvet counted among the most valuable posessions of an individual, expressing power, wealth, and taste. Distincted by its soft feel, wonderful sheen and depth of color it represented the most precious material in the history of textile. It was first developed in India and expanded later to Egypt and Italy. Its softness and its quality intrigued different cultures, making it one of the first examples of globalization.
Drawing inspiration both from the online collection and the history of velvet, my project consists of three velvet quilts using lasercuting technique. The colors and the motifs differ per quilt and refer to a prominent time of the history of velvet: 15/17th century, 18/19th century and 20/21 century.


The velvets feature patterns derived from the online archive and other visual elements as a reference to the history of velvet. Traditional design elements such as color and texture are used as tools to both testify to the work of the five national textile museums and to evoke the symbolic, economic and social impact of velvet textile in history: from the Maritme Republics through the kingdom of Richard II of England until the technological development of the Jaquard Loom. The individual patterns recall various time frame in the history of velvet. For instance, ‘ferronneries’ and ‘pomegranates’ were among the most used motifs during the 15th and 17th century.

The online motifs are brought together in a sort of grid, chronoligically framed. Other symbols of that period can be distinguished in the grid, like the Genoa or Amalfi’s flag, or the rope resembling the Maritm Republics. The overall project is a visual research based on stratification of motifs through time. The project intents to create an analog framework from within the user would be able to experience the archive in its daily life.













          

Laser engraving on cotton velvet quilt 260x260 cm. Polyester wadding 100gr.


Bertini’s collection, 16th century, 17th century, Beginning of the 17th century, End of the 16th century

Silk ciseled velvet with thrown wefts and gold spun. The background weave is a tabby weave produced using golden yellow warps and wefts. The work is obtained with green pile wefts and lamellar gold thrown wefts. The inner parts of the pattern are realized using cut velvet, while curly velvet is used for the edges. Parallel rows with leaves, right and left oriented are vertically offset.




      

Laser engraving on cotton velvet quilt 260x260 cm. Polyester wadding 100gr.

Bertini’s collection, 17th century.

Silk and silver lamella ciselé voided velvet with lamé ground. Checked pattern of cruciform and diamond-shaped motifs.




      

Laser engraving on cotton velvet quilt 260x260 cm. Polyester wadding 100gr.


Cariprato’s collection, 15th century, Second half of the 15th century.

Silk cut voided velvet made of white background warp, pile warps in red, green, white, blue and whihite wefts. The pattern is made of a mesh grid that houses a flower of thistle with inflorescences in the center. In the points of tangency of the grids there are thistle flowers with palmettes.









Credits

Client: Prato Textile Museum
Photos credits: Stefania Zanetti
Production: Trapuntificio Arosio
Production: Textile Museum Tilburg
More info Createx project