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Sardinian Textiles



Sardinian Textiles

An Exhibit of Contemporary + Antique Handwoven Art

An exhibit of hand-woven textiles from Sardinia opens at the Italian Cultural Institute - San Francisco on January 19, 2017. The exhibit will feature contemporary weavings from the few remaining tessitori artigianali, Sardinia's traditional hand weavers, as well as a selection and antique weavings from the Sardinian Regional Textile Museum, MURATS. Sardinian textiles are virtually unknown outside the island, and only a handful of artists still weave by hand using traditional methods.

The opening night reception will feature a talk from visiting artists Isa Frongia and Anna Maria Pirastu. They are respected as the gold standard of Sardinian weavers working in the pibiones tradition typical of the Samugheo area in Sardinia. The show will include textiles crafted in Samugheo as well as other areas of Sardinia boasting different textile techniques and patterns.

Sardinia has a rich history of textile arts, yet few of the traditional handweavers remain, and their textiles are rarely found outside the island. Women once wove in their homes, making their corredo, or hope chest items, and all the items of the household, including saddle bags used to carry grain and goods. The advent of mechanical looms in the 1950's brought more freedom to women, but heralded the near-demise of an art that requires tremendous mechanical and engineering skill, physical dexterity, and patience. The value of the art and the artists is being rediscovered outside Sardinia as well as on the island itself.

Related events include a workshop (at Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles, Berkeley) with Isa and Anna Maria demonstrating Sardinia's unique pibiones technique of weaving; an intercultural project, Intrecciati, that brings collaborators from across the globe together to realize a fiber arts creation led by the Sardinian-born designer Silvio Betterelli; and a screening of I Want to Weave the Weft of Time, a documentary which shows how Sardinia's traditional women weavers demonstrate technical and artistic skill as they create beautiful textiles and weave the fabric of inclusion.

Click here to register

The exhibit is sponsored by The Italian Cultural Institute - San Francisco; Museo Unico Regionale Arte Tessile Sarda (MURATS) in Samugheo, Sardinia, Italy; City of Samugheo, Sardinia; and Sardinian Arts, Inc.
Under the patronage of Regione Sardegna and the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco.


Date: Da Thursday, January 19, 2017 a Friday, February 24, 2017

Time: From 6:30 pm To 8:30 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

In collaboration with : Sardinian Arts

Entrance : Free


Italian Cultural Institute - 601 Van Ness Ave. F