I am just back from a trip to Rome, a wonderful city full of history, elegance, amazing fabrics and the best coffee and ice cream I have ever had!
I spent five days exploring the city and I can say it was not even close to enough. It made me want to return and explore even more, without the weight of the “must-see” list of a first-timer.
Apart from the obvious attractions, I had my personal agenda of fabric shopping, too. But even if this was not on the list, I would have stumbled upon some of the most spectacular fabric stores anyway, since they are right in the heart of the city.
As always, I ran a small search on internet before the trip and this time I didn’t have to dig deep as I found this article from NY Times, and also the Selfish Seamstress very informative blog entry.
As most has been said in these two writings, I am not going into too much of a detail with the whole experience, but really, Bassetti Tessutti is overwhelming. I wonder if they actually know what they have as the place is a real labyrinth of fabric rolls from floor to ceiling and the ceilings must be around four meters high.
Nevertheless, I managed to ask for something they did not have – stretch lining, something like I got from Poland in summer. This thing is amazing and great for somewhat heavier, yet elastic fabrics like cotton sateen etc.
A very helpful shop assistant who introduced himself as Massimo, dragged me through the whole place through seemingly secret passages between fabric bolts, showing the best they had and letting me slide my hand over all imaginable kinds of silks, but they were all out of my reach in the means of budget. Besides, I will not line a rather ordinary dress with the best Italian silk, right?
So in the end I bought 1.7 meters of brocade, which, if it is enough for the pattern I have in mind (I didn’t think of the large print while buying), will be my next winter party dress.
Following the tips from Selfish Seamstress, I also paid a visit to Fatucci Tessuti at Via dei Falegnami. The variety here is tens if not hundreds of times smaller, but thus less intimidating too. This is what I got:
The first is medium weight stretch silk, exactly as bright as you see it and claims to be Armani, the second one is a beautiful shade of blue viscose-cotton blend, tagged D&G. I haven’t been able to find anything on internet by D&G in this fabric, but the sticker on the bolt seemed trustworthy. Nevertheless, I loved it and it is also available in striped version.
There is a third fabric store in the same area, named Azienda Tessile Romana. They have an impressive wool selection, starting from thin crepes and cozy pontes to coatings.
If I hadn’t already spent a three figure amount on the other fabrics, I would have got a dressful of wool ponte, around 60 euros per meter.
To sum the fabric tour up, I would say that a sewist definitely doesn’t need to throw a coin into Trevi fountain to make sure that she would return to Rome!
In addition to fabric shopping, I also did lots of sightseeing and was lucky enough to have some interesting exhibitions in town during my visit, namely Modigliani and Soutine: Cezanne and the Italian artists he affected and finally a photo exhibition dedicated to the 125th anniversary of National Geographic.
A few photos of the trip here:
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