It is an ancient art that is passed on from generation to generation but unfortunately it is likely to be lost in the midst of time. The Sicilian "sfilato" is the ancient embroidery art that, in 2007, was inserted by the Sicilian Region in the REI, the UNESCO Immaterial Register .
The workings of the Sicilian parade are three: 500, 700 and 400: each of them, is distinguished by the particular technique of knitting the threads and the drawing. But Chiaramonte can boast an embroidery point that takes the name of the whole city: the "Chiaramonte Point". Maria Ravalli, spokeswoman of the Embroidery and Sfilato Association, while making a chassis job, talks about the Chiaramonte Point: "This point was rediscovered in 1999. An embroiderer found a particular type of embroidery almost completely forgotten. We started researching and found out that there were no sources about this kind of point. And so, we started thinking of a name to give it. In the end, we decided to call it "Chiaramonte Point", in honor of our country. It has the shape of a coffee bean".
The Chiaramonte Point is particularly appreciated by embroidery workers all over Italy: many, in fact, are the national specialized magazines in the sector that have spoken and talked about this technique. Just to mention the most famous magazines: Rakam, Italian Embroidery, Cora, Giuliana Ricami. The association of embroidery and Sfilato of Chiaramonte Gulfi, made up of 15 people, was founded in 2001 precisely to prevent this tradition from being lost. Maria Ravalli, in fact, explains: "We participated in the International Forum of Embroidery and Lace, in Rimini and in Parma. We were guest in 2004 at Geo & Geo. We have visited many national and international fairs so many times that our aim is to promote these works that are representative of the territory. "
But times for the embroidery art are rather tough. Maria Ravalli, in fact, explains: "Once this work was a source of earnings. Today, they have no price: there is only the pleasure and the passion for an art that expresses our creativity. Mainly, the "Sfilato" is suitable for the creation of centers, sheets, tablecloths, curtains, but also clothes. Unfortunately, I fear this tradition will be lost, even if it is part of our origins. In fact, we do not understand the great value of this art of pure craft. "
In Chiaramonte Gulfi, a town 20 km far from Ragusa, there is also a museum dedicated to the Sicilian "Sfilato". It is located in one of the narrow streets adjacent to the historic staircase of St. John, within the impressive medieval trace of the ancient city. There are spaces in the museum where furnishings, photographs and precious handicrafts are built, the environments in which the unmistakable and increasingly rare embroideries of the Sicilian parade are created. Exposure is embellished by untraceable testimonies of the past, including a wooden frame; And there are still more than two hundred pieces of curtains, tablecloths, towels, lampshades, holy garments, as well as frames and vintage gear from the 700s Sicilian. The Embroidery Museum is a place to preserve what the time would inevitably destroy; But it is also the first nucleus of a polyvalent structure open to the market. The visitor will find, copiously exposed, well-known, popular and prestigious genres of this important patrimony: the "sfilato" 400 , of great value, even in its variant by dreary; the "sfilato" 700 and 500. In this exhibition you can also check the historicity of the exhibited pieces and many works have a precise dating related to periods and artifacts between the late eighteenth and twentieth century: Caterina de 'Medici Style, Empire Style ...
Museo del Ricamo e dello Sfilato Siciliano
Address: Via Lauria, 4, 97012 Chiaramonte Gulfi RG