At the beginning of the 20th century there were so many textile factories in Prato that it became famous as “the city of a hundred chimneys”. Today, thanks to modernization processes that started in the 1960s, the chimneys are just a memory. However, Prato (the second largest town in Tuscany in terms of population) has a thriving fabric industry, its principle industry since the Middle Ages, when its inhabitants diverted the course of a river to bring their textile factories the water necessary for production.
Today at the center of one of the most important textile districts in Europe (9000 medium-sized, small and very small companies), Prato has not forgotten its artisan roots and how for centuries raw materials have been finished using traditional processing steps.
The tangible evidence of this is the high quality fabrics produced and the extraordinary Museo del Tessuto (Fabric Museum) which houses a collection of over 6000 fabrics, velvets, damasks, dresses, embroidery, lace and trims from all over the world: from Coptic Egypt to pre-Columbian Peru, from European and Far East weavers (particularly from India, Japan, China and Indonesia) up to the beautiful artistic weavings designed by Giò Ponti and Henry Moore as well as the clothing made in Prato for international film productions.
Il Bisonte uses Prato-made fabrics for its bags and accessories.