About the collection

The textile collection of the Fondazione Antonio Ratti is one of the most remarkable in Italy. Originally started in the 1950s by Antonio Ratti as a source of inspiration for his designs, it continues to expand and charm new generations of creatives.

The collection is a unique resource that tells the textile histories of different continents and eras, spanning from the third to the twentieth century. It now counts more than 3300 textile fragments among which are Coptic and Indigenous American textiles, Italian velvets, Indian and European cashmere shawls, French silks, Congolese Kuba cloths, Central Asian ikats, Alsatian printed cottons and Japanese kimonos. In addition, almost 3000 sample books chart the industrial production of textiles in France and Italy over the past two centuries. A special section is dedicated to the history of the local silk production from Como, including the earliest designs of the founder Antonio Ratti.

In 1998, the FAR collection became accessible to the public through the establishment of a multimedia catalogue and a rich programme of exhibitions and publications. The collection has since continued to grow, thanks to important donations and acquisitions, and is now a point of reference for scholars, designers and students. Its mission still stands, as Antonio Ratti said in 1998: "In my life, I have always found inspiration for my creativity in museums. I want others to be able to have the same experience".

Digital Caveau

In 1998, FAR collection was made accessible to the public through a digitalization and cataloging project. FAR digital caveau is the result of years of layered studies aimed at giving users a comprehensive picture of the holdings, providing an up-to-date and versatile tool for work and research.

Its first version, designed in the 1990s by then-director of the collection Chiara Buss, constituted an international unicum, allowing access and navigation of the already digitized archive. The constant cataloging work and updating technology led to the creation of the caveau now available to the public. This tool gives access to an even larger archive with a relational and hierarchical architecture that connects the artifacts, reconstructing the network of narratives that link them.

To request access to the digital vault, write to archiviotessile@fondazioneratti.org

Coptic textiles

Indigenous American Textiles


XVIII century Silk

XIX Century Printed Cotton

Cravates and Ribbons

Sample Books

Como Production

Antonio Ratti Production


Cashmere Shawls

Kuba Collection


Guided tours of the collection are organized all year long only by appointment.
For info and reservations: info@fondazioneratti.org