The Pascucci family is the oldest witness to this ancient art form: for 7 generations has guarded this craft and brought new life into it with an eye to tradition and also innovative flair.
In 1826, in Gambettola, a town in the heart of the Romagna area, the Pascucci family opened its workshop. They were a family of dyers who started their own fabric printing business; their workshop was stocked with hemp and linen, and vinegar smell filled the air.
The printing designs, taken from embroidery academy collections, were an imitation of embroideries (which were too expensive for that rural society), and they depicted the natural elements of the area. Towards the end of the 19th century, in addition to kitchen linens, printed textiles were used to decorate cattle during fairs: this latter custom allowed the art of block printing to survive.
Then, with the development of seaside tourism, block printing found another application: beach shades, decorated by artist and designers.
The colour used for printing, which testifies to a deeply rooted local tradition still today, was rust; it was obtained from oxidised scrap iron, a very common material (indeed, Gambettola was called the capital of scrap metal). Nowadays, to cater to modern tastes and needs, the colour palette has broadened, and so have expressive possibilities.
Hand-carved blocks made of pear tree wood become the matrices for the creation of printed textiles. Wood carving, in the form required by block printing, is part of the heritage that the family hands down through observation and practice, knowledge of materials and passion: truly an art within an art!