Florentine Handicraft for Villa le Barone

April 28, 2014  |  Culture and Art, Florence

Villa le Barone's visit at "Il Papiro": items made with marbled paper

Italian and Florentine handicraft are famous and we are promoting it in our boutique hotel Villa le Barone!

One example: “Il Papiro” is a company producing hand decorated paper items, using traditional Italian techniques and in particular the marbleizing of paper.
The story says that in the 17th century the bookbinder of Louis the 13th, King of France had invented a method to produce a paper looking like marble, also called “papier à cuve”. Such a paper has been widely used until the end of the 19th century, in particular for book binding.  The description of the technique’s details to produce marbleized paper can be found in manuals dating back to 1600.

Villa le Barone's visit at "Il Papiro":making waste baskets in marbled paper

But it is in Florence, in 1976, that Francesco Gianini and Gianni Parenti, two florentine natives and handicraft lovers, retrieved the use of this ancient technique and  have created the company “Il Papiro” which is producing several items encompassing bound diaries, journals, desk accessories, boxes… It is fascinating to look at the creation of a marbled paper sheet: first of all,  a base, a gelatin solution prepared with seaweeds, has to be produced; on the surface of this base, the colors are sprayed and then a comb shaped tool is very carefully passed on it to obtain the desired design.  Then comes the most difficult part:  a sheet of paper is delicately laid on this colored gelatin base, and here comes the miracle: the colors adhere to the paper and cover it in totally.

Villa le Barone's visit at "Il Papiro": sheets of marbled paper drying

The sheet is put to dry… and then is used by Il Papiro (www.ilpapirofirenze.it) to decorate the various items, many of them we use and you can see in our boutique Villa le Barone: boxes for Kleenex, folders, notebooks…But Villa le Barone can also book for you or your children, in “Il Papiro”’s workshop, close to Greve in Chianti, a “hands on lesson” for you to prepare a sheet of marbleized paper and a beautiful notebook that you will take back with you!
At Villa le Barone, we work with many craftsmen, upholsterers, ironsmith, cabinetmaker… and are proud to maintain the Italian and Florentine traditions of handicraft.


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