Discover Sicilian embroidery, a trendy ancient art

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Nothing is more topical than tradition, and for creativity this statement is always valid. To confirm its correctness, it is enough to see how the new spring / summer 2022 collection of the French house Christian Dior is an ode to an old and very refined art, embroidery.

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Symbol of the high value of artistic craftsmanship always in trend, embroidery boasts an ancient tradition in Sicily as with Sicilian parade, has become famous all over the world. Let’s find out together its history and its secrets.

The Sicilian fashion show: when a thread and a plot turn into art

Sicilian parade with
Sicilian parade with “Punto Chiaramonte” – ph

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Ancient art that has been passed down from generation to generation, the the technique of the Sicilian parade in 2007 it was included by the Sicilian region in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage Register. Examples of this technique, dating back to the end of the 14th century, can be found in eastern Sicily, where, under Arab rule, precious embroideries in the Moorish style began to be made.

Ancient art passed down from generation to generation, the Sicilian parade technique in 2007 was included by the Sicilian region in UNESCO's intangible heritage register

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A purely feminine practice, born of the desire to make both personal and household linen articles fascinating and light, the great success was achieved in the 16th century, above all thanks to nobles and clergy who made great use of these wonderful works.

Sicilian parade with
Sicilian parade with “Punto Chiaramonte” – ph

After becoming a very noble and lucrative profession, elegant curtains, bedspreads and table sets came from the precious hands of the brothers to their own home, but above all to the dowry of their daughters.
Today, as then, women continue to be guardians of this precious art, of which valuable works can be admired in Museum of Sicilian Embroidery and Fashion Show from Chiaramonte Gulfi (RG).

Techniques and secrets of the Sicilian fashion show

Sicilian parade

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That Sicilian parade is an embroidery technique done on linen canvas with fine cotton threads. The work – which requires patience, precision and passion – consists of loosen the threads of the cloth to obtain a “net”, which, when “intertwined”, allows to obtain a lattice with a previously drawn decorative motif (flowers, leaves, scrolls, rosettes, figures, animals, etc.).

Sicilian Fashion Show -
Sicilian Fashion Show –

Each work can be done with three different methods: the 400 (of great value with the embroidery made in “fabric stitch”), se paraded 700 (with the embroidery made one “straight seam”) and 500 (with the motif to be embroidered back on the canvas and pulled out around). With these processes, all carried out strictly by hand, it is possible to create clothes, sheets, towels and curtains.

The places of an art that is still alive

Sicilian parade embroidery preserved in the museum of Sicilian embroidery and fashion show in Chiaramonte Gulfi

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The technique of Sicilian paradedespite having risked oblivion several times, can boast of a large number of passionate souls who still today, thanks to associations, schools and dissemination via Youtube, cherish the ancient art.

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That’s obviously it Chiaramonte Gulfi the place to be chosen a “Capital” of Sicilian paradebecause in addition to a dedicated museum, it boasts an embroidery stitch bearing his name: “Chiaramonte Point”. An old “point” rediscovered thanks to an embroiderer of the Association of the Sicilian embroidery and fashion show of Chiaramonte born, so this tradition is not lost.

Sicilian fashion show by Francesca Spatola
A work by Francesca Spatola

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In Ragusa, she is a master of the Sicilian fashion show Francesca Spatola which in the baroque city still gives life to real masterpieces. In the same city there isCorner of the embroiderya store where the Sicilian fashion show is told through wedding or newborn kits.

Didactic procedure for the Sicilian fashion show - Mani d'Oro School

Then moves on Solarinoin the Syracano area, is Mani d’Oro schoolborn in 1999 to restore the art of embroidery: here, after a three-year journey, all the participants can learn the secrets behind the Sicilian fashion show.

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