I'm back from the EGA National Seminar and I want to first post the links of websites that I like to buy Italian needlework supplies from as I promised my fellow classmates in Vima deMarchi Micheli's Notebook of Italian Embroidery class.
The following are two websites that I have ordered from many times and which also take PayPal as a method of payment which is so much easier for overseas customers than a money order.
Italian Needlecrafts - Elena speaks English well and goes the extra mile to make sure everything goes smoothly. Her website is in English, you can order through a secure socket and she will confirm shipping costs by email. She is based right in the city of Milan and so her deliveries do not take long to arrive. Elena is open to requests, if you are looking for something in particular, ask if she can get it for you. Her website is constantly growing and it is advisable to check back often as she is always adding new things. She carries books, patterns, fabric, threads and some kits and she is scanning lots of early 20th century Italian needlework books from her collection and making them available as free downloads. She also weaves in her spare time and you can buy her creations from her website or her Etsy page and follow what she's doing on her blog.
Tombolo Disegni - Gianfranca has a bricks and mortar shop in Grado which is a small island in the north-eastern part of Italy between Venice and Trieste. She is an accomplished bobbin lacemaker. Her shop is loaded with lots of things for all types of needlework. Her website is in Italian and you will have to send her an email with a list of the things you would like to purchase so she can then send you a PayPal request. She travels to many fairs and shows so sometimes she may not be able to answer your request right away and shipping takes a little longer as she is not on the mainland.
A note about ordering from Italy:
Italy has it's own culture and it is important to remember that you are not ordering from a country which is similar to your own. Most often, needlework is a hobby not a job and therefore it takes second place to family and work. What I'm saying is try to be patient as responses are not always immediate. The Italian postal service is notorious for doing the most inconvenient things. These two websites in particular do their best to serve their customers but if there is a glitch, most often it is not something they have any control over like the mail service or ordering from suppliers.
If you are searching for something that you don't find on either of these two websites, post a comment and I'll let you know if I know of any other websites where you might be able to purchase what you're looking for.
I have a lot of catching up to do with emails and translations, it may be a few days before I can start posting again but don't give up hope, I have lots to share with you!