History of the Tonti woollen mill

Rasiglia in the memoirs of Vanda Tonti

“At that time the river, which was part of the village, like the air, like the sky, became a protagonist. […] The river came from Chieve, clear like a veil over the pale stones, among the green banks of limestone and daffodils… […] In Rasiglia it was joined by the village spring which in Capovena appeared everywhere, even in the street, even on the doorsteps of the houses and in order to go out the inhabitants walked on stones thrown into the water to form a sort of pedestrian crossing.”

From the book by Vanda Tonti, Tanto è mercante chi guadagna, tanto è mercante chi rimette – Vita col padre Umberto Tonti, Tipografia Artigiana Tuderte, Todi, 1996.

The origins of the Tonti woollen mill

The story of San Potente and the Lanificio Tonti woollen mill is intertwined with that of the weaving tradition of Rasiglia di Foligno in the Menotre Valley where our family lived until the end of the Second World War. The first records of the wool working and dying activities of our ancestors date from 1569.

The first Tonti’s woolen mill was built in the small village of Rasiglia in the mid-19th century. In the ‘30s, under Umberto Tonti’s will, a new modern woolen mill was built in the same village. Unfortunately, the new construction was destroyed during the Second World War, but Umberto’s tenacity won on despair and the mill was re-built in Foligno in 1945. At that time Foligno was a growing city and offered more commercial opportunities to Umberto’s activity.

Hand weaving legacy

In the 60s, after the death of her father Umberto, our grandmother Vanda Tonti, driven by her love of Rasiglia and hand weaving, gathered the looms and textile tools used in the Menotre Valley and created a small craft workshop in Rasiglia di Foligno employing three women.

These hand weaving looms are still in operation today and are used for our modest local production and demonstrations for our guests thanks to the skills of Luciana who continues with passion a weaving tradition that is ancient, yet not lost.

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