In the familial quarters of Palazzo Morgalanti in the Tuscan village of Anghiari, Giovanni Sassolini Busatti flips through a ledger of calligraphy script dating back to 1792; “the secret house book,” whispers the current patriarch of the family. Here in the Busatti headquarters, weaving has continued for over 200 years. “The strength of the company is that it has been in the hands of women,” Giovanni states, singling out a photo of his mother. Left a widow with eight children, she ran the business for 15 years, before Giovanni took it over in 1975. The septuagenarian and honorary president has now passed the company to his son Livio Sassolini, the ninth generation entrusted with leading the House of Busatti.
The Busatti story is much more than a story about family ownership; it’s what provenance actually feels like. The rhythmic sounds of the shuttle-looms emanate from the workrooms in the basement of the palazzo. The looms, from the early 20th century, insert weft threads, giving fabrics the signature Busatti softness. Here, natural fibres—wool, cotton, linen, hemp—are woven with motifs inspired by the Renaissance. “Our textiles are made to last,” Giovanni says. “Our looms have been working continuously for almost a century and produce as they once did.” In the stock room, tablecloths, napkins, tea towels, bed and bathroom linens, and draperies are piled up. Production remains deliberately niche with most orders made on request in any finish and size—Miuccia Prada, Sting, the Ferragamos, and Steven Spielberg are among their clients.
Many Busatti patterns include fruit and plant motifs, and even the range of 24 colours is inspired by nature. A distinguishing point of differentiation is that fabrics are thread dyed, not bolt dyed, resulting in vibrant colour and superior quality. The Busatti signature print is Donna di Coppe—meaning Woman of Cups, a floral damask with a pattern of urns. Hemstitching, embroidery, fringe, and lace are some of the embellishment options, and each piece is ironed by hand.
With the Busatti baton firmly in hand, Livio continues in the tradition of his ancestors with an eye also on the future. Tradition does not clip the wings of experimentation and innovation, especially when it comes to sustainability—the latest project is a quilt made from a seaweed fibre.
Busatti accentuates the experience of the simple pleasures of home, of coming together with friends and family, and sharing—a spirit that celebrates the enjoyment of life.