Entering the historic headquarters of the Tessitura is like a dip into the legendary past of eighteenth-century Venice among precious velvets, fine wooden looms, and textures of a thousand colors. An atelier of wonders where the charm of history blends with the advertising campaigns of super fashion brands and the photos of the beautiful international royal palaces that Tessitura Bevilacqua has been “dressing up” for over 5 centuries.
Officially constituted in Venice as a company in 1875, the history of the Bevilacqua family has been “intertwined” since the ‘400 with that of the flourishing silk industry, born in Venice thanks to its trade with China. Strong of an ancient knowledge, the factory is today specialized in the manual production of fabrics created with original eighteenth-century weaving looms and warpers from the Serenissima Silk School. Real works of art that, for their uniqueness, adorn the royal palaces as well as the most famous residences in the world. From the Fenice theatre to the Rome Opera House, from the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute to Palazzo Papadopoli in Venice, from the Quirinale to the Oval Room of the White House, from the Royal Palace in Stockholm to the Kremlin in Moscow or the Saudi Royal House, impossible not to recognize Bevilacqua’s sumptuous silk velvet, soprarizzo velvet, lampas, damask, brocatelle, satin…made according to ancient craftsmanship.
To tell the incredible mastery that lies behind a Bevilacqua fabric, just think that 1600 bobbins can be mounted in a loom that employs two weavers working in synchrony and creating a yield of “only” 30 cm per day, as happened for reproducing a rare fabric commissioned by the Kremlin.
A beauty that could not fail to bewitch the world of cinema and fashion: Bevilacqua fabrics are in fact the protagonists of many films, from Anonimo Veneziano to Casanova, whilst fashionistas will recognize them in the “Bagonghi” bag by Roberta di Camerino, loved by Grace Kelly, and in the fashion shows of Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Fendi, Valentino, just to name a few.
Among the many treasures kept by the Tessitura, there is also their historical archive which has more than 3,500 original designs cataloged since 1875.
To shop for fabrics and the Bevilacqua accessories or to book a private visit, the address is Santa Croce 1320, 5 minutes from the Santa Lucia station.
The history of silk is said to begin, in the 6th century Before Christ, thanks to two monks sent on a secret mission by Emperor Justinian in order to try and bring home the silkworms cultivated up to then only in China. This is how the “Silk Road” that connected East Asia, especially China, to Europe and the Near and Middle East was born. It is precisely along that Via that Marco Polo (1254-1324) would bring back to Venice, after an adventurous journey, the precious fabrics that will soon make the lagoon city one of the most important centers of the silk industry, a hegemony that culminated in the period of its maximum splendor in the XVI century.