The Museum stands out for the comprehensive documentation of the technological and stylistic innovations in contemporary textile production. New fibres and materials, technology transfers, renewals in chemistry and mechanics make the textile industry an ever-changing world. The room (450 square metres) is used for temporary installations related to this theme, as well as housing events and cultural initiatives.
The Prato textile district has about 9,000 medium, small and very small artisan and industrial companies, active in all sectors of the textile sector for an area of approximately 700 km².
The contemporary section collects those fabrics which for technical, technological or decorative characteristics represent an absolute novelty on the international scene and presents them in preview with respect to their commercial diffusion.
Innovation, technological research and experimentation in production processes are the result of a long historical and cultural journey witnessed by the fabrics of this section.
The impressive setting of the room also displays the imposing mantle woven by Prato companies and worn by His Holiness John Paul II for the opening of the Holy Door on the occasion of the great Jubilee of 2000, in dazzling colors (thanks to the use of lurex ) made by a Prato company.
Particular attention is paid to the finishing process, the final phase of the manufacturing cycle: observation is combined with the possibility of touching the exposed fabrics and the visitor will thus be able to understand how the fabric is given particular technical and aesthetic properties.
Italy Textile Museum
The Museo del Tessuto is the largest cultural centre in Italy dedicated to the promotion of historical and contemporary textile production and art. The Museum represents the historical memory and the cultural interface of the Prato district, which has been identified with textile production since the Middle Ages. Today the district boasts over 7,000 companies operating in this sector.
The Museum was founded in 1975 within the “Tullio Buzzi” Industrial Technical Textile Institute, as the result of an initial donation of approximately 600 historical textile fragments. These were added to examples which had been gathered over the years by the Institute’s professors for students to consult and study. Since then, the collection has seen a significant increase in size thanks to the contribution of the Buzzi Institute Alumni Association and other important civic institutions, such as the Municipality of Prato, Cariprato and the Pratese Industrial Union.
In 1997, the Museum was temporarily housed in the Palazzo Comunale. During this period, the collection of contemporary fabrics was established, which continues to increase with seasonal fashion trends thanks to the relationship with the PratoTrade Association, a selection of fashion textile manufacturing companies. In 2003, the inauguration of the permanent premises took place in the restored spaces of the former Campolmi factory, a precious jewel of industrial archaeology situated within the old city walls.
Since 2012, the Museum has been granted the status of “museum of regional importance” pursuant to Art. 20 and 21 of Regional Law no. 21 of February 25th, 2010.