Art of Wool Museum
The Lanificio di Stia was one of Italy’s leading wool mills until after World War II. Since 2010, thanks to the work of the “Luigi e Simonetta Lombard” Foundation, which owns it, it has been revived as the Museum of the Art of Wool.
The first Lanificio di Stia company was established in 1852, when a modern entrepreneurial activity had already been developing for several decades, organised in such a way as to concentrate the various phases of wool processing in a single factory. In the early 1860s, the wool mill employed about 140 workers and was the first in Tuscany to use machinery imported from abroad.
Between 1862 and 1888, under the direction of Adamo Ricci, the mechanisation of the entire production process was completed, and the factory complex was modernised. From the end of the nineteenth century, the Lombard family became the owners of the wool mill and entrusted its management to Giovanni Sartori from Veneto, who modernised the factory, bringing it up to the level of the most important Italian wool mills, and also worked to provide concrete social security cover for all the workers in difficulty.
Under Sartori’s management, the wool mill reached the height of its prestige, even becoming the official supplier to the House of Savoy. At the end of the First World War, the factory employed 500 workers, had about 136 looms and produced over 700,000 metres of fabric. Due to the crisis that began in the 1960s, the wool mill went bankrupt in 1985, and closed down in 2000. Simonetta Lombard, the heir of the family that owned the factory, bought back the buildings and set up a Foundation, which drew up a renovation project to create a centre for promotion of textile culture. This project took shape in 2010 with the opening of the Museum of the Art of Wool.
An admirable example of industrial archaeology, today the building has come back to life as a centre for the promotion of the textile culture of this territory, to preserve the memory of this ancient tradition, but also to make the building, where generations of local people worked, available again to the community.
Inside the museum, the exhibition includes tools, machinery and a sensory journey through the various textile fibres.
Via G. Sartori 2 – 52015 Pratovecchio Stia (Ar)
Tel. +39 0575 582216 / +39 338 4184121