Tuesday, September 23, 2014


James and I had been wanting to make a trip up to Anghiari (Tuscany) to the Busatti Factory for several years, and, at last this past spring we set out on a day trip from Panicale, after cappuccini at Bar Gallo, with our visiting friends Debbie and Jim.

Busatti tessuti

Here it is, the Busatti factory, a destination that we finally reached, OH ! What a glorious sight it was to see the BUSATTI sign. A thought crossed my mind.....Yikes, what if it is closed? Which can happen in Italy.  But, to our good fortune they were open!!


 Walking through the door you find a shop that is filled, and I do mean filled with Busatti fabric, bolts stacked proud, shelf upon shelf.

Throughout the shop there are tables set with fine Busatti  tablecloths and napkins. There are also "rooms" with beds draped and pillowed with beautiful duvet covers, coverlets, shams, and of course,  I wanted to buy it all!!!

But we came on a mission. Our goal was to buy enough of a particular fabric for our dining room window panels. It is a golden cloth we purchased about ten years ago at the Busatti shop in Arezzo. James has used many times in his paintings, but the piece he has, and continues to use, does have its share of paint stains on it!

North Wind Clearing
James Aponovich
oil on canvas

Here is the cloth that we are hoping Busatti still makes....that is why we are here.
Easy to forget our mission when surrounded by so many beautiful fabrics.

And then there was a subtle noise that grew louder in another show room.
Debbie and I wondered, Hmmmm, was that the sound of the factory looms?


There was a kind woman helping us in our quest. As luck would have it, Debbie had an image on her phone of one of the paintings James did that included the fabric. YAY!
Yes, they still made the fabric. The thing about Busatti fabric is it very wide. We ordered what we needed and we had it shipped.

Still curious about the factory, I asked , and our kind sales person  who then offered us a tour.

The fabric, wool, linen, hemp and cotton are woven on shuttle looms that are over  a century old.
Busatti / Sassolini families have been making fabrics here since 1847.

One of the weavers carefully tying ends of this blue and white cloth.

We all found this fascinating, the way the threads were being fed to the loom. Jim noticed the brown paper like thing hanging on the right of the loom and asked about them. Seems these rolls have a series of punctures which are a "pattern code" for the particular fabric that is being created on the shuttle loom. Each Busatti fabric has one of these pattern code rolls. Think about a player piano and the rolls that make the music, and you will understand how these pattern codes work.

There was a hallway filled with boxes of these colorful spools of thread for weaving these incredible woven fabrics.

Still life with spools!
If they had these for sale in the store I would have bought a few!

James and I couldn't get enough of these. The colors were so pure and fanciful.

The part of the factory was small, basement like, at least the part we visited. We imagined a much larger operation. We were glad to have seen these remarkable looms and watch a person passing the shuttle through the threads to create the patterns.

As we were leaving the factory we passed a room with bolts of tagged fabrics.
I just liked the way all of these bolts looked.

Back upstairs to the quiet to the shop, those shuttle looms do make quite a rumble, might even say thunderous!

One of the tablecloths in the shop, that was part of a table setting.

I stopped to buy a few napkins, how could I resist?

We said goodbye and headed out for a quick look at Anghiari and for some lunch.


Anghiari is also known because of Leonardo Da Vinci. There was a battle fought  here in 1440.
There are several drawing by Leonardo ( 1505) of this battle, and it is thought by some that he did a painting of it. "The Lost Leonard" of The Battle of Anghiari, might be in the Palazzo Vecchio, on Florence, on a wall that was covered over and a fresco then painted in 1563 by Vasari.
It remains an art mystery.

It was only a few days after we arrived home to New Hampshire that a box arrived from Busatti.

Our fabric arrived. It is perfectly beautiful. Now, we must have it made into curtains for our dining room.

Via Mazzini 14


Busatti has shops throughout Italy and around the world.

Friday, September 5, 2014


James on the Juliet Balcony In Panicale
( photo: S. Vreeland)

I have been after James to begin a new blog, and now he has.
He linked in to the idea that where we live in  Peterborough, New Hampshire and where we "live" in Panicale, Umbria are both on the 43rd Parallel, the same latitude.

His blog starts with both places, Peterborough, NH and Panicale, Italy, where he will explore the similarities and differences living and painting in two towns and ocean apart.

Here is the link:
Aponovich 43 / Parallel Lives : A Transatlantic Journal

Follow along and see where he takes us all!