Maria Voto: The Importance of Keeping Traditional Handicrafts Alive

Words from the only weaver from Vico del Gargano, Italy.

Once upon a time looms were constantly working at Vico del Gargano. And women had a fundamental role in the development of handicrafts, particularly woven fabrics for everyday use and special occasions, for furnishing, and for the house in general. Looms where then an essential aspect of the domestic economy which also involved the cultivation of hemp.

But this scenario is impossible to find nowadays in the region, and actually Maria Voto is the only weaver in Vico del Gargano. Her workshop is located in what it was a bakery run by a family who, in between serving customers, spent time embroidering at the back of the shop. She now combines and reinvents the traditions from Carpino –  using hand dyed sheep’s wool and executing it in striped or braided designs – and the weaving style of Vico – executed with unrefined fibres for everyday items or with the most amazing linen for special trousseaux. The results are beautiful and noble woven designs.

Hearing Maria’s story is appealing: she took the last vestiges of a particular tradition of her town, to bring it back to life with a deep sense of respect and love for the practice. Don’t miss her amazing narration which appeared in the Autumn issue of No Serial Number Magazine 2016. If interested, you can still order your single copy.

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