textile structures
textile design
research on textile techniques

my collections

my library

personal history


My library has grown gradually along two lines: handweaving studies and an interest in textile technology and creativity in both traditional and new design. The first book I bought was Band, by Liv Trotzig and Astrid Axelsson: it was in Swedish and I didn’t understand a word of it, but it taught me how to learn by just looking at the pictures. In 1958, during a marvellous two-month tour of Sweden and Finland, I saw a lot of weaving in the countryside and visited weaving schools. When I got back to Italy with that little book and a small inkle loom, I had taught myself to use it and I started commercially producing neckties and belts on a small scale. My library is now over 1.600 volumes strong. Right from the start the problem arose of how to catalog them, so I had a look at what was done both in large general libraries and in the specialized ones of textile museums and design schools.

In the end I opted for a logical subdivision by subject that adapted the Dewey system to my personal requirements.


I recently found out that a large American textile library is using a subdivision that is fairly similar to mine.

Most of my best books are in English, and to make it easier for Italian students, together with Anna Ravano, a translator and a former student of mine, I compiled two small English-Italian and Italian-English technical glossaries of about 500 terms each, avaliable in PDF format here (English-Italian) and here (Italian-English).

The photos in the following pages give a general idea of some of the topics covered by my library. It's a section I'm planning to expand to a more complete survey.

The use of the libary is open to all members of Associazione Studio di Tessitura Paola Besana. For non-members, after a first free day of consultation, there is a yearly fee of € 15. The conditions of use, opening days and times of the library can be found in the PDF downloadable here.

Introduction to hand-weaving
Handbooks for beginners
Evolution of the looms
Looms – the development of industrialism
Vegetable plaiting in folk tradition
Books consulted during a course on design
Magazines in the Daberti collection