The art of embroidery, known as ricamo in Italian, has long held a cherished place in the cultural fabric of Italy.
From the intricate stitching of delicate threads to the creation of breath-taking designs, the craft has woven its way into the hearts and homes of countless Italians throughout the centuries, becoming a tradition passed down from generation to generation.
Ask any of your Italian friends, and chances are they’ll all have memories of their nonna putting out beautifully stitched tovaglie (tablecloths) for Sunday lunch; or showing off daintily hand-embroidered napkins, placemats or centrepieces to celebrate any big event, from christenings to first communions.
Today, a crop of artisans and bespoke brands continue to honour the legacy of ricamo by creating their products the way it’s been done for centuries. Cibelle, an Apulian venture we’ve recently come across and fallen hard for, is a case in point.
Founded by young creative and craftswoman Raffaella Gemiti as a response to her need to “embrace the beauty of living with the simplicity of raw materials,” the label – whose name is a combination of the words Ci and Belle, “how beautiful” in Apulian dialect – creates fresh, quietly sophisticated ricami 100% made in Italy, using premium linen and the most classic of techniques.
With patterns often depicting nature themes such as blooms and lemons, as well as Puglia’s trulli and other symbols, each of Cibelle’s design is an ode to the colours and atmosphere of the Mediterranean, and a showcase of artful, humble creativity.
You can explore the collection below – but before that, here’s a little deep dive into the history of ricamo in Italy.