Some exciting news today about a new needlework website based in Italy. After much preparation and lots of patience while technical glitches were worked out, comes the labour of love of three Italian women: Filiforme. [in Italian: fili = threads and forme = shapes.]
I have taken some screen shots of the homepage to point out some things to you. The first thing that I noticed upon arrival at this website was how modern and "young person-savvy" it was. Almost too much for me! At the top are links to various social networks - some I know of through my daughter like Stumble Upon, Twitter and Facebook and others I had never heard of like Technorati, Delicious and Digg. This makes Filiforme something totally new - needlework aimed at young people. An exciting concept for those of us who have been wracking our brains trying to figure out how to interest this elusive age group in the art of needlework.
For now the Filiforme website is only in Italian, but with the aid of Google translate you should be able to navigate around fairly well - I tried it and some of the translations made me laugh out loud but I was able to find everything.
The first section announces upcoming classes and exhibitions with some in-depth information and a couple of photos of examples just below.
Then two embroidery (ricamo in Italian) projects: placemats and linen guest towels. Right away we get the "Italian" approach to needlework, I'm pretty sure that most people in North America don't have linen guest towels though they are still widely used in Italy. Clicking on either project takes you to a page with a list of materials and the basic instructions for completing the project. From here there are links to other pages with clear stitch diagrams and for downloading the patterns. (on the stitch diagram pages there are more links for social networks like Reddit and MySpace!)
Below the embroidery projects, the same format then for three crochet (uncinetto in Italian) projects: a scarf, a purse and a flower brooch. Here there are also links for downloading the clearest diagrams.
After that a recommendation for a delicious book on unusual macramé and how to purchase it.
Then a sewing (cucito in Italian) embroidery project for a silk bag. This is by Patrizia Recchia of Mano di donne - make time to check out her funky website with a decidedly "young" flavour.
More crochet flowers with a different application finish up the homepage at this time.
If you explore the pull-down menus at the top of the homepage you will discover under the tab: "Fili insegna" the page "Punti di Ricamo" which has 10 diagrams and instructions for embroidery stitches and if you click on the "Older" button, you find five more!
The tab: "Fili informa" has listings for more courses, exhibits and other news (look for Paola Cellini's prize-winning entry at the Valtopina show stitched on doubled organza!) as well as more book recommendations.
The tab: "Progetti" takes you to a listing of the needlework projects found on the Filiforme website (moving forward, I expect there will only be the latest projects on the homepage and you'll have to come here to explore past projects).
At the bottom of the homepage are two small links "chi siamo" and "contatti". "Chi siamo" means "who we are" and "contatti" is the contact page. You may be surprised to find that there are only three Italian women behind all this work. The only one I know of personally is Stefania Bressan who was my first contact in the world of Italian needlework nearly a decade ago. A needlework teacher in northern Italy, Stefania is also the author of a book on Schwalm Embroidery and collaborated on the recent release of the Drawn-Thread book I told you about here.
As I understand it, Laura is the photographer and her photography is exquisite and attractive lending a professional look to both the website and the projects.
I don't know anything about Francesca - I hope that biographies will eventually appear on the Filiforme website as I'm always fascinated in the people behind the work.
One important thing to mention: the women are looking for feedback and input, so send them your comments, suggestions, news and events.
I don't know how often this website will be updated but I signed up for the newsletter and I'll keep you posted!