Historical art of Romagna dating back to the 17th century

Printing on Canvas

The hand-printed Romagna canvases are one of the symbols of Romagna and the absolute protagonists of the table decoration in occasion of holidays , such as Christmas. It can be hypothesized that Romagna canvases were already produced in 17th century , when Romagna was part of the Papal State .


The canvases are produced in natural fibers: hemp, cotton or linen . To decorate them, hand- carved pear wood molds are used . Different decorations can be engraved in these matrices and the most typical ones include flowers, ears of wheat, vine shoots or the caveja , the steel rod decorated with allegorical images which represents one of the most important symbols of the territory.


The traditional color is rust , which is created with iron oxide , flour , wine vinegar, which are mixed in secret proportions ( each shop has its own recipe ).

Today , in addition to the rust color, various colors have been created, printed or even painted, composed of a secret mixture of wheat flour and various pigments . The recipes of the preparations are very secret and are handed down from one generation to the next.


The printing process consists of beating with a 3 or 4 kilo "mallet" on the wooden mold placed on the canvas , which must be lying on a not too rigid surface.

After printing, the fabrics are hung out to dry on river reeds for a whole night . Once drying is complete, the print is developed and fixed . The bathrooms are divided into two types : rust and natural colors turn into a basic solution ; all others in hot water and acid .


We thank Stamperia Pascucci for sharing their art with us, providing us with the drawings that gave life to Gin Vitale . Since 1826 , in Gambettola , from generation to generation, they have carried on this wonderful Romagna art .