Monday, August 22, 2011

valencian silk-1

broc rolls

in the 18th century valencia  rivaled  lyon with its silk industry. silk was raised, spun and woven in lavish brocades which frequently included gold and silver threads. the city managed to create a style of its own which has been studied in detail, especially the designs based on what is known as  pintura de flores (flower paintings) produced in the Real Academia de San Carlos.
gold dressblue dress

boy-girl dressessmuch of the textiles were exported to cadiz and through its port to other european cities and  and the new world.  yet some of them  found their way in the country to dress wealthy ladies in goyesque style, dressing as majas, a style  considered to be the result of a rebellion against French fashion. 

the style became the germ of the traditional valencian regional dress which nowadays is used during the fallas.  the falleras are the court ladies, sometimes escorted by men, of the fallas and one of the important rites during the festivities includes electing the fallera mayor, a sort of mega prom queen.

consequently, thanks to the keeping of this traditional dress, silk weaving  in valencia albeit not as important an industry as in the past, is still carried on.
there are several stores in town that produce their own fabrics based on old designs and others specialise in reproducing traditional patterns.there are even a few jacquard handweavers using old looms.

jacq-back       jaqcq-back2

not all the fabrics are silk, there's plenty of rayon to cut on costs. but  i was assured all of the fabrics are local, none imported from china. not surprisingly prices are high and a whole fallera outfit including the combs, jewelry, hairpiece, lace, shoes and  underwear can run up to a good 10,000€ . more if the combs and jewelry are gold, pearls  and gemstones... an heirloom indeed.

neki desu
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  1. They are beautiful indeed. I saw some shen I went to Valencia with Amandine

  2. When I traveled in Spain, I was not yet a weaver, or I would have certainly spent more time in Valencia. Gorgeous cloth!

  3. Anonymous6:38 PM

    I would like to see that in person someday. What has been done with silk over time continues to fascinate me. Thanks for this

  4. Anonymous1:50 AM

    oh my, imagine passing an entire outfit down through the generations and adding a new piece to go with something from a grandmother or great-gran.

  5. Amazing fabric and outfits. I have added this to my travel list...

  6. Non avevo idea che a Valencia ci fosse un'industria della seta così importante. Ci sono ancora telai a mano?


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