De Liefde, with a cargo of woolen cloth, was the only one of five merchant ship that left Rotterdam in 1598 that made it to Japan.
Textiles are one of the most practical crafts that are with us throughout our lives. However, their aesthetics have often been more important than their practical function. It was their aesthetic and the secrets of production that over the centuries sent us to travel beyond the horizon in search of the new and the exotic. In the process a world of international trade and a cross-pollination of cultures led to new fashions, and technologies; in short it created the world as we know it. It was with this history and purpose in mind that we named our company Bramalta, coined from two Italian words: bramare, meaning “to yearn” for or “to desire” and alta, which can be translated as “high-up or exalted”. The goal of Bramalta is to continue this tradition and bring together diverse historical sources and new technologies to create products, to inspire us to think beyond what is at hand.
Our passion for textiles and history began very early with our grandmothers’ rich stories. Traveling to Italy when we were young with our maternal grandmother to L’Aquila, an important medieval textile center, women were still weaving lace while shepherds and their flocks from Puglia roamed past the village’s stone walls during their yearly migration to escape the summer heat of Puglia. It was in L’Aquila where the Florentine merchants negotiated for the wool that would fuel the Florentine economy and the Italian Renaissance. Additionally, our paternal grandmother fueled our interest in travel and diverse cultural aesthetics with her stories of sail makers and founders of the Dutch East India Company and by combining these two early influences and our professionally honed skills, it is time to bring all of these components together and set sail with Bramalta for destinations unknown.
The wool market in L'Aquila 13th-19th centuries.
Those Dutch forebears that were not Directors or employees the Dutch East and West India companies manufactured sails for the ships.
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