Vitale Barberis Canonico


A special collection of more than 2.000 volumes of ancient fabrics from Italy, France, United Kingdom, Germany and America starting from 1860 to today to celebrate the art, the magic and the genuine beauty of textiles across the centuries.

Fabric Tales

The collection of fabrics in the Vitale Barberis Canonico® archive is unique. In the aisles between the bookshelves, lit by warm, low lights, it feels like being suspended between different historical periods: among the intense smells of the leather book covers worn by hands over the years, the warm and reassuring aroma of sapele mahogany where the large tomes with the samples belonging to merchants of the past are kept. An evocative journey into the history of fabrics by means of the precious collection and the archive itself, with its decorated binders, meticulously cared for in every detail, and the leather sofas, even including the coffered ceilings.

The fabrics of the historical archive are “narrated” by four distinct voices. Four different tones which bring the fabrics close to people, places, art and colours. A thousand others could have been the route to discovery, a thousand others could have been the key to reading a collection which holds millions of fabric samples, each with its own story to pass down. But these voices reveal unimagined connections and extraordinary realities which the wool mill has understood how best to preserve. Amazement runs alongside centuries-old know-how until it reaches the current Vitale Barberis Canonico collection waiting to be explored … with a small twist.