About the collection
The textile collection of the Fondazione Antonio Ratti is one of the most remarkable in Italy. Originally started in the 1950s by Antonio Ratti as a source of inspiration for his designs, it continues to expand and charm new generations of creatives.
The collection is a unique resource that tells the textile histories of different continents and eras, spanning from the third to the twentieth century. It now counts more than 3300 textile fragments among which are Coptic and Indigenous American textiles, Italian velvets, Indian and European cashmere shawls, French silks, Congolese Kuba cloths, Central Asian ikats, Alsatian printed cottons and Japanese kimonos. In addition, almost 3000 sample books chart the industrial production of textiles in France and Italy over the past two centuries. A special section is dedicated to the history of the local silk production from Como, including the earliest designs of the founder Antonio Ratti.
In 1998, the FAR collection became accessible to the public through the establishment of a multimedia catalogue and a rich programme of exhibitions and publications. The collection has since continued to grow, thanks to important donations and acquisitions, and is now a point of reference for scholars, designers and students. Its mission still stands, as Antonio Ratti said in 1998: "In my life, I have always found inspiration for my creativity in museums. I want others to be able to have the same experience".
Guided tours of the collection are organized all year long only by appointment.
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