Fondazione Lisio, Via Benedetto Fortini 143.
It was founded by the Abruzzese Giuseppe Lisio in 1906, but the roots of this quintessentially Florentine weaving concern stretch much farther back, to traditions born and cultivated here in Renaissance times.
Working with gold, silver and silk, the Lisio weavers create sumptuous, intricate silk-velvets and brocades and brocatelles on traditional 19th-century wood looms. Even then, more than 100 years ago, Lisio had to search long and hard to find women still versed in the skill of working the threads and shuttles. These women taught a younger generation, who in turn continued to cultivate a generation of new weavers, so that today, when you visit the factory premises in Via Benedetto Fortini, men and women can be found working the complex Jacquard looms by hand, threading them for the ground warp and the accompanying bobbins for the loom warp—each one at a time, entirely by hand.
The satisfying sound of the clapping machines place fills the workshop on Via Benedetto Fortini, where historic and contemporary samples of their finest work—including collaborations with Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi (Lisio produced many of the velvet and metallic brocades for the Baguette bags), liveries for teams that compete in Siena’s famous Palio race, and the occasional Papal stole—are on display.
Ask the concierge at the Hotel Savoy about guided visits and private workshops.