In the Lamone valley, and in a special way in Brisighella and Fognano, the art of embroidery has a long history, flourishing at the beginning of last century and up to the Second World War, with a great demand of fine handicrafts from all over the country and from foreign countries too.
The most renowned schools, where skilled and fine women used to work, could be found in Brisighella – the Valvassori Sisters, who supplied the Royal Family too on drawings of the famous litographer Giuseppe Ugonia – and in Fognano – the school of the nuns of the Emiliani Convent.
Embroidering in that times was a small precious income for the local economy, based only on the farm work, often inadequate for the large families.
Women, once they learnt the ‘Art’, used also to work at home – after the house duties and often burning the midnight oil – to increase the low income of the family; this way they produced beautiful pieces of embroidery, for trousseaus and churches.
Many of these masterpieces belong now to private collections, convents and churches; frequently they are kindly lended by the owners to be shown in many exhibitions.
Nowadays these fine traditons are newly discovered, along with the local superb food, the country art and culture, the craftwork, and everything is created by the man with its hands.
The “Once upon a time” Embroidery Fellowship (founded in 1989) is made up by ten members with an high professional training (they are also qualified teachers).
They contribute to the popular magazine ‘Rakam’ and to national firms like DMC.
From 1997 every year they promote an exhibition in the Suffragio Church in Brisighella, and from 1996 every two years an exhibition-contest in Faenza, with embroideries inspired by the local ceramics.
The fellowship attends many exhibitions, and publishes articles and reports on specialized magazines. They also hold many training courses in several cities in Emilia-Romagna.
The aim of the fellowship is to research, promote and spread the embroidery techniques in the area of Brisighella and all over the Lamone Valley.
With their historical research the fellowship wants to preserve the value of tradition, according to the rules and the basic techniques, but suitable for a modern way of life too.
Main working techniques
- Hand-made and loom-made embroideries
- Needle-made laces
- Use of antique laces to recreate original handicrafts with ornamental or geometrical motifs