”We honour the ancient history of the Friuli scarpet"

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Made for centuries, if not for millennia, in different areas of Friuli, the "scarpet", the characteristic fabric shoes made by women for the whole family, tell a long history of culture and tradition and perfectly interpret the philosophy of recovery and reuse. 

 

TRADITION 

Although the first written testimonies of the creation of the Friulian "scarpets" date back to the nineteenth century, the tradition linked to their production is, in all likelihood, much older, and has its roots in a time when every scrap of fabric and every material, even the poorest, was precious, with a view to recovery and re-use interpreted in the strictest and most literal sense of the terms. Women were the architects of the "miracle", those who were able to make shoes for the whole family with a few scraps of cloth and string. Every season was good to wear these shoes that were produced in different variations so as to keep the foot warm in winter, and preserve it from the hot summer temperatures. They were the shoes for the party, worn by brides on their wedding day, but they were also and above all those that were made using only the fabrics available and overlapping pieces of cloth to create more resistant soles according to an ancient tradition probably millenary handed down generation in generation. Each area boasted its own variant that differed from the others by an embroidery or a particular seam, rather than by a decoration or a different shape.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

The "scarpet", sometimes also called "friulane" are presented as light shoes similar to slippers made of canvas, velvet or other fabrics available according to the season in which they are to be worn. They are all hand-sewn and embellished with embroidery and decorations generally with a floral theme. The distinctive element of these shoes is the sole made up of overlapping fabric scraps that are hand-tufted with string to reinforce them. Although the techniques of production and the shape of the footwear have remained almost unchanged over the centuries, the decorations, embroideries and patterns have, however, remained in step with the times and today, therefore, it is more and more frequent to find models that meet their tastes while maintaining the classic and traditional appearance that distinguishes them. 

 

THE TERRITORY 

The ancient Friulian footwear, over time, have found a certain diffusion even in neighbouring areas such as the Belluno Dolomites and the Treviso pre-alps, going as far as Venice where, in the eighteenth century, it was not rare to see them even at the feet of the gondoliers. However, Friuli Venezia Giulia remains the home of these delightful cloth shoes.

La Stampa 20140402