Firenze Ricama is a small, family-run artisan business My mother established it in 1928 when she was just eighteen years only; later, in the fifties she was joined by a partner who then became my father.
Today, both of them, who are well over eighty, are still interested in the business which is run by myself (I handle production and the shops in Florence and Santa Margherita Ligure) and my brother Riccardo who manages in Pavia.
The company’s distinguishing feature is the type of work, that is still done by same methods, and usually by cottage type workers. The items are cut and prepared by the company and then given out to the embroideresses. Every evening, before I go home, as I distribute and pick-up the work, I go through a sort of ritual. I enter the homes of these women, homes that al emanate the same aura, and the same odor of dinner cooking (or being eaten). We talk about styles, fabrics, lace and stiches between a dish of pasta and a glass of red – obviously Chianti – wine. It is in these homes, overlooking the Arno River that Firenze Ricama products are made. These are items which, white faithful to tradition, eveolwe year after year, with new lines, new fabrics, new pattern entrusted to the same hands which amalgamating the ol and the new yeld the same results as they did nearly a century ago. They are results of an art that can only be learned here, not at school, but at home, in front of the fireplace, as they learn the lines of the Divine Comedy that they have to recite in class the next day.
Please do not be surprised if you find a tiny spot of sauce on a nightgown or on a pajama top it is part of the production cycle, or if we deliver a few days late, it means that maybe the embroidereress had caught a cold.
Actually, I am joking, the finisched pieces are all inspected in the company, then ironed and shipped.
You, in turn, should explain to your customer that our products do not come of an assembly line, they are made entirely by hand –old hands using old sewing machines – and then ambroidered by old hands – and old eyes.
They are products with different air and flavor: the flavor of Italy, of Tuscany, of the Arno, of Chianti wine, of old, dampkitchens heated by wood-burning stoves.
We do our utmost to satisfy our customers’needs and to continue a job that has become a tradition and that is and will always be more than just a job, something more than a mere nightgown or slip.