Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.
T. S. Eliot
On the occasion of La Via Della Lana 2016 the 1920s Textile Collections unveil and reignite a decade of Lanificio Paoletti history. There will be a whole lot of textile paraphernalia, witnessing a pivotal moment for the industry’s development in the area of Follina. Until then, the town had only provided woolen cloths for religious institutions. Gaspare Poletti (1871-1953), who was very much into his music, lived through the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Italy, poetically described in his musical journal of 1917 – Intermezzo Invasione – (Invasion Period). He founded the Paoletti Mill Musical Band. His eldest son, Giovanni (1906-1938) obtained his high school diploma in textile techniques in 1925 and went on to become part of the family business as a designer. His fantasy colour blend style is still, to this day, Paoletti’s iconic hallmark.
This new textile production identity was becoming popular right at the time when the Fascist Regime was gaining ground in Italy. This new identity had to come to terms with the newly founded General Fascist Confederation of Industry, which in 1926 took over the national trade union federations, including the Italian Wool Industry Association. At the time the Confederation was divided into territorial unions such as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Treviso. There is correspondence that proves how such bodies, who were indeed attached to the Fascist Regime’s press department, did in fact prescribe a regulatory framework for military supplies, workers’ membership of the National recreational Club and participation at international work fairs.
Domestic policies did have an influence on the style of male attire. Giovanni’s collection of equestrian magazines include a section of advertisements for the Milan tailoring industry, which portrayed images of the dictator’s public appearances. However, Paoletti’s attention was focused on English quality weaving, inspired by homespun fabrics, transcribed as “Ospan” in Italian. Paoletti also observed Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna’s workshops) fashion, whose influence is evident in his first Art Deco abstract geometric shapes that dominate his weaving style.
The 1920s collection left behind a heritage of 23 samples, which are categorised by winter and summer seasons, as is done today, and by product categories, such as flannels, worsted yarns, carded yarns, exclusive yarns and handkerchiefs. Of all the samples recorded in the Weaving Registers from 1920 to 1929, none of them can be reproduced using the technical sheets in the weft and warp books, as, for records n. 1 to 14 only the warp books can be found and only the weft book for number 15. All information related to machinery, techniques employed and the type of thread used has been gathered from the inventories and reference books.