After studying natural sciences and specialising in botany with a final dissertation on tinctorial plants, in 2005 Maurizio Savoldo set up his workshop La Robbia in Atzara, an ancient village in the Mandrolisai area, where yarns and fabrics are dyed naturally, the only business of this kind on the island. Following procedures that draw on the rich heritage of local skills, which he has been exploring thoroughly for a long time, Maurizio has obtained a striking collection of enchanting vibrant colours. The pigments used are collected locally or from distant lands, roots, flowers, leaves and bark, which he wisely processes according to formulas stemming from a long experience and in-depth scientific knowledge. In time, thanks to the precious collaboration of his mother Angela and of Federica, Maurizio has complemented yarn dyeing with an elegant line of textile accessories for clothing and home décor. The distinctive feature of the latter is the interplay of colours of the natural yarns, knitted or printed with sophisticated eco-print effects, which are performed with great artistic ability by Federica. The productions of La Robbia are exhibited in the shop/workshop in Atzara and in numerous shops that specialise in handicrafts and natural products across the island. Maurizio promotes the dialogue and his ties with the territory by organising practical courses for adults and educational workshops for children. He participates in the main local and national fairs and exhibitions dedicated to artisanal excellences.
La Robbia proposes a distinctive variety of natural Sardinian and Merinos wool yarns, which are dyed exclusively according to artisanal procedures using dyes from tinctorial plants, many of which are locally harvested, sold in a variety of coloured balls and intended for a number of uses. Merinos yarns are used for very soft knitwear that includes scarves, neck warmers and refined headgear. The yarns that they dye personally are then woven by local textile workshops; these yarns are then used for the production of a wide range of carpets, cushions, bags and other accessories characterised by their vibrant colours and rich colour combinations. Federica has created a new line of silk stoles and scarves using the eco-printing technique, that is, by extracting the dye from leaves in order to obtain refined pictorial effects. The well-known line of single-color silk scarves comes in a wide assortment of colours.
All possible procedures for the natural dyeing of wool, silk, linen and cotton yarns and fabrics are performed in the workshop. Locally harvested tinctorial plants are used, to which rare and precious pigments such as indigo and cochineal are added so as to obtain a rich and varied range of colours. Knitting is done on a hand-operated knitting machine. Significant and distinctive is the impression-printing technique that exploits the dyeing power of leaves. Every dyeing stage is crafted in an artisanal fashion, as is every processing and tailoring procedure for fashion accessories and textile home décor.
More details on the Mediterranean Crafts Archive
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