My library has grown gradually along three main lines: weaving as craft and industry, and its economical, social, cultural and artistic aspects; creativity in both traditional and personal production; other techniques involving yarns and fibres, from dyeing to needlework and knitting. 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 almost 2.000 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, available 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.
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