Mariano Fortuny was a Spanish born 20thC Venetian designer who invented groundbreaking printing techniques that remain secret up to this very day. His creations look as if they are hand-painted and worn out by the passing of time. His cottons, silks, lamés, velvets and brocades are Renaissance-inspired and traditionally printed or crafted at Palazzo Orfei, in Venice. (Open weekdays)
Image from Calluna : Cushions – Heather Luke
* Fortuny fabrics are extremely exclusive, and sought after by the most famous interior designers. The printed designs are cleverly composed so that the ground is as interesting as the pattern.
Whilst it is, of course, wonderful to have the whole walls upholstered in Fortuny fabric, the fabric itself is good enough to work it’s magic even in small amounts- a single cushion, pair of curtains, upholstered chair or tablecloth. One of the tricks of the trade is to partner it with a very simple fabric with it- such as ticking, rough silk, map silk, wool melton, raw linen.
* Fortuny is renowned for his unique, tight pleating (the fabric is pleated and randomly crumpled), which has since been massively copied. Initially developed for silk fabrics and couture, the Fortuny technique is now used to produce permanently pleated silks for curtaining etc.
* Venetia Studium make painted silk lamps in the Fortuny style, as well as painted and printed wall hangings and cushions plus dresses, scarves and small bags in the ubiquitous pleats.
Palazzo Fortuny, the museum in Venice is always worth a visit: