Aracne: Weaving Tuscan tradition with modern style

The Sienese hill town of Pienza is home to Aracne (Arachne in English) a unique weaving boutique run by the mother/son team of Paola Perugini and Mattia Giovannoni. Named for Arachne in the Greek myths, who was turned into a spider when she challenged Athena to a weaving contest, the workshop is deeply grounded in the ancient art of weaving.

Paola explains how she began the project alone but found that her son was fascinated by the work. He eventually went to study the craft of weaving and fabric design in a special school in Florence. Now, they run the workshop/boutique together.

I discovered Aracne several years ago when a friend introduced me to Paola and I bought a raw silk scarf that I wear almost every day. In this photo, Paola was attaching her Aracne tag to the scarf.

The shop is a feast for the eyes…scarves, jackets, suits, skirts… IMG_7454

ponchos, jewelry…IMG_7457

and table linens. IMG_7465

Paola and Mattia take traditional designs like the “Cloth of Pienza”, the diamond like design at the bottom of this photo. The classic colors for the cloth were ecru and white, but Paola and Mattia use many others (see video above). Everything they make has historical elements, many linked to medieval times, but presented in an appealing modern style.

In a world dominated by standardization and mass production, it is beautiful to wear or use elegant hand made things from Aracne. For me, as in drinking “real” artisan wine, I find true pleasure in being connected to an age old story that is being told with vitality and freshness.

To learn more about Aracne, to order or to contact Paola and Mattia, go to the Aracne website.

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