Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Visit To Venice and Fortuny

I'm back to having a Fortuny moment. I was reading the New York Times this morning, which had an article about vacationing in Venice during the winter and it of course, makes me think of the home of Fortuny fabric. I had the pleasure of visiting the Giudecca headquarters years ago and didn't see much, as the production facility is held in secret; but did get a look around the storage facility and saw bolts and bolts of wonderful Fortuny everywhere! It was a pleasure to see.

You see, I hear the name Venice - and my memories go to Fortuny and also Bergamo fabric headquarters. I visited their headquarters in Venice as well. It was such a wonderful trip.

Now back to pillows: The pillow front at the top of the post is hand beaded with bronze beads. The fabric is old. Most likely from the first quarter of the 20th century. The patina of the gold pigment on the surface of the fabric has changed in places to a rich gold/platinum. I purchased it from someone in Rhode Island who claimed it was left over from one of the rich estates around Newport.

I took one of the completed panels to New York to look for trim. I wanted something special, preferably something old like the fronts themselves and finally found what I wanted at Tinsel Trading Company. TTC has a really wonderful history and is a good resource for old stock. Click on the name and you can read about that history and take a look at some of that stock. I settled for antique ball trim in a similar gold/bronze color that had the right patina then used a beautifully subtle silk velvet for the backs.

While I was in New York, I made a visit to Fortuny headquarters in the D&D building and had a look at the same pattern which had just been newly released and purchased some yardage to make additional pillows which you can see here as well.

There are many, many reasons to treasure a trip to Venice and Fortuny is just one unforgettable aspect of that magical city.


  1. dear michael savoia,
    i enjoyed, tremendously, this particular reminiscence and have a cramp in my neck, as i was compelled to flip back and forth from one fortuny pillow to the other, to pick up the similarities and the differences.........chamrning that this type of self-inflicted pain is enjoyable.
    thank you for your endless information and insight.

  2. Thanks Mary,
    When you once told me that you were able to visit the Fortuny Museum in Venice - I was so, so jealous. I will be until I return and find it open! Thanks for your comment!