"An ancient history that developed within the walls of the home, a refined product that made no distinctions between social classes”
Like elsewhere in Italy, the tradition of embroidery and lace in the province of Ascoli Piceno is linked to the presence of wealthy families who could live in luxury and elegance, not only in regard to decoration, but also in the use of precious materials and items: it was said, in fact, that “embroidery is to the body as style is to thought”.
With the attainment of greater purchasing power, there was a need for young women professionally trained in the art of embroidery, so in 1868, Countess Maddalena Sgariglia dal Monte opened a women’s vocational school in a building she owned.
The poor were admitted for free, whereas girls from wealthy family paid for room and board.
The girls became experts in dressmaking and embroidery and, thanks to the Countess’ contacts, the finished products were sold through commissions from important families throughout Italy and orders from church maintenance committees, religious fraternities and secular societies for the embroidery of church decorations, banners, coats of arms and bridal trousseaux. [...]