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 I named my 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.
As the Director of Custom Products for Scalamandré, my role was to oversee the production of bespoke products for America’s best known designers and architects for installations in distinguished homes, hotels, and museums. It was a unique time and place to learn all phases of fabric, wall covering, and trimming production at the company's then-renowned mill in New York City; when the mill closed it was time to reach further back to earlier experiences in order to move forward.
My own passion for textiles and history began at a young age with my grandmothers’ rich stories. When I traveled to Italy with my 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, my paternal grand mother fueled my 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 with my professionally honed skills, it is time to bring all of these components together and set sail with Bramalta for destinations unknown.
Inspiration at the Villa Mansi.
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.
Those Dutch forebears that were not Directors or employees the Dutch East and West India companies manufactured sails for the ships.
Restoration of the Governor's Room, City Hall, New York, NY.
The wool market in L'Aquila 13th-19th centuries.
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