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The mid 1950’s were a wonderful time for the producers and consumers of Italian designed textiles. There were two major manufacturing centers at the time: Prato near Florence and the Como Region at the foothills of the Italian and Swiss Alps. The town of Como is located approximately 50 kilometers from Milan and was easily accessible for designers and clients.

One of the smaller producers at the time, the JSA Manifattura (JSA Factory) had the courage and the foresight to contract various Milanese designers and painters to give them creative input into the design process and develop a fabric range that would satisfy the ever more sophisticated consumer.

Ettore Sottsass the architect and designer, the painters Gianni Dova and Emilio Scanavino were just three of the many who left their imprint. These now hard to find textiles are a hot collectible today. Have a look, even though the language is in Italian the captions usually identify the designer. The fabrics often reflect the painter’s style such as gestural or informal as these were prevailing styles in painting in the mid fifties in Italy.

fabric1fabric2fabric3fabric4fabric5fabric6fabric7fabric8fabric9Geometrical and amorphal shapes started to play a role also and took a hint again from painting coinciding with the change from the informal art to abstract art. The materials used were usually rayons, or cottons and often the designers would use the fabric by their favorite (painter) friends in their interior designs. This exciting creative spirit in textile design lasted a mere 10 years, after which monotonous color schemes became the fashion.

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