Tessitura Bevilacqua: a Journey into Venetian Luxury

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Last Updated on November 22, 2023 by Laura Teso

Tessitura Bevilacqua is a family-run factory producing exquisite fabrics of unparalleled quality, using techniques passed down through generations of master weavers. The Tessitura (meaning weaving) is one of the most ancient historical activities in Venice and the most ancient in Europe (still working). It dates back to 1875, when Luigi Bevilacqua managed to retrieve the looms once used by the Silk Academy of the Serenissima. 

Their showroom is located just 10 minutes away from the train station. There, you can admire all the precious fabrics, adorning the most important mansions in the world, from the Fenice Theatre in Venice to the Royal Palace in Stockholm, from the Quirinale in Rome to the White House in Washington.

The Bevilacqua family’s passion for weaving dates back to the 15th century, when they established themselves as renowned silk merchants. Over the centuries, they honed their skills, becoming experts in crafting luxurious velvets, damasks, brocades, and lampas, fabrics that adorned the palaces and homes of Venetian nobility. And look at the bags below!

A Venetian Tradition Preserved

Stepping into their workshop is like stepping back in time, where the rhythmic clatter of antique looms echoes through the air. Here, skilled artisans meticulously weave each thread, creating fabrics that are as beautiful as they are durable. 

I had the chance to visit it on the occasion of an exhibit opening. Firstly I was entranced by the colorful fabrics and then by the sound and the movements of the ancient looms. Thirdly by the view on the Grand Canal from the terrace at the back of the showroom. Simply wonderful. I also had the chance to see one of the weavers at work. She told us very interesting facts about the Tessitura.

Tessitura Bevilacqua
Tessitura Bevilacqua

Nowadays there are 7 weavers (all women) at work on 18 looms dating back to 1700. Working with such ancient instruments is complicated and requires a lot of time. For example, the set up requires 1-2 months (up to 6 when the velvet texture is particularly elaborate. Think that in a loom can be mounted up to 1600 spools, that must be operated by two weavers at the same time). And then there’s the production phase, all made by hand. And therefore unique. On average, 8 hours of work result in a fabric length of 40 cm (15 inches). 

In a world of mass production, Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua stands as a proud defender of Venetian craftsmanship. Their commitment to traditional techniques and the use of finest materials ensures that their fabrics remain the archetype of Venetian luxury. With each piece they create, they preserve a precious piece of Venice’s heritage for generations to come.

Visiting Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua

A visit to Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua is more than just a shopping experience; it’s a journey into Venetian history. The workshop’s showroom is a treasure trove of fabrics, each piece telling a story of the city’s rich textile heritage. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the workshop, where they can witness firsthand the intricate process of weaving.

So, if you find yourself in Venice, be sure to make a visit to Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua. It’s an opportunity to experience Venetian craftsmanship firsthand and to discover the beauty and artistry of traditional textile weaving.

Attention: the opening hours you see on Google Maps are those of the showroom. If you want to take a tour of the Tessitura and admire the ancient looms you must book in advance. Below, the view from the terrace on the Grand Canal.

Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua location

Campo San Zandegolà 3731, 30123 Venezia, Italy

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