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Pezzotti from Valtellina

Perhaps the most famous artisan product from Valtellina, the “pezzotto” is a very resistant fabric made using scraps of fabric, hand-woven at the loom. The origin of the “pezzotto”, which according to some sources would date back to the presence of the Umiliati monks in Valtellina, has its roots in the poverty of the peasant world and in the homemade craftsmanship that led to realize at home all the objects such as clothes and utensils.

In some valleys, such as in Val d'Arigna on the Orobic side, in the territory of the municipality of Ponte in Valtellina, the tradition of home work at the loom has always been important. Here women weaved and still weave today by hand pieces of colorful cloth on wooden frames following a traditional art that is at least five centuries old.
The origin of “pezzotti” is in the "pelorsc", coarse blankets of particular sturdiness made with the warp of resistant hemp and the weft of scraps of worn out cloths and rags. They were used to cover the hay, to shelter from the cold the cattle in the pastures or, in summer, to spread the wheat on the threshing floors or legumes to dry.

Today in the manufacture of “pezzotti” the rags have been replaced with cotton or silk cuttings and the choice of colors and design is becoming more and more accurate, so the robust and rough cloth of the rural tradition has become a decorative element of the modern furniture also outside Valtellina.

Photo - Claudio Franchetti

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