Maria Niemack was born in Milan in 1892 and lived in Lucca. In the first floor of her beautiful villa in Via dei Bacchettoni she established the artisan/craftsmen firm named “tessiture rustiche di lucchesia” (rustic textiles of the lucchesia) with the purpose of creating high-quality fabrics. The workshop was active from 1950 to 1975 when she died.
As a young girl she fell in love with Lucca’s silk; hence she studied the traditions of the craft, and was able to create designs and colours identical to the original ones. She collected looms and tools from 1800 and invited young talent weavers to work with her. She was able to start the manufacturing of fabrics made of silk, hemp, linen, cotton, and, to a less extent wool. She travelled the countryside always searching for new techniques and patterns to replicate in her workshop.
This section of the museum is dedicated to the rustic weaving typical of the village around Lucca. In 1950 Maria Niemack started the firm called “Tessiture rustiche di lucchesia”. After her death in 1975, because of her wish, all the tools and samples of her work were donated to Lucca’s National Museum to avoid the loss of the tradition. In fact, not only the tradition, but the entire working process has been passed on to younger generations from the “bacchettatura” (from silk worm to spinning the thread) to the final weaving of cloth. Next to the “atelier” is the workshop where is possible to appreciate the entire process.
Today the workshop continues this production with the old tools using materials such as cashemire, mohair, linen and silk according to the demand of todays market.