Texts, samples and advertising dedicated to fibres and textiles tell the story of Italian fashion from the start of the twentieth century. A style path which, centred around Merino wool, has resulted in the thematic Quaderni series

It is one of the most comprehensive and complete collections in the textile sector, not only in Italy, but in Europe too, thanks to over 2 linear kilometres of documentation. Our Historical Archive is a invaluable resource which we started to catalogue in 2010, just a few years after it was discovered in 2008.  In that year, Acta Progetti, commissioned by the Archival Superintendence for Piedmont and the Aosta Valley, conducted a census of the archives of many Biella-based textile companies. Ermanno Germanetti, owner of Tollegno 1900 at the time, took an immediate interest in the census and granted access to the material kept in the company’s attic for verification. The findings were so surprising that they were included in an important recovery project promoted by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities – Archival Superintendence for Piedmont and Aosta Valley and financed by the Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo of Turin. While the funding received allowed the first 500 linear metres of documents to be digitally archived on Guarini Archives (the software provided free of charge by the Piedmont Region), since 2015 we have decided to invest directly in its reorganisation. A project which uses funds and resources whose cultural value we believe to be greater that the investments themselves. About one kilometre of documents has now been digitalised, but numerous sources, still remain to be catalogued that are kept in the spinning mill premises and in the attic of the eighteenth-century wing of the Tollegno 1900 wool factory. All the articles of incorporation, advertising material, awards and trend samples found, however, have also given rise to another project. By taking advantage of a series of funds and the partnership with the Niniqa company, which specialises in industrial archives, we have created a thematic editorial series – the Quaderni dell’archivio storico – based exclusively on hard copy materials and fabric samples stored in Tollegno. A unique case in the Biella textile panorama!

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