Renata Bonfanti was born in the Grappa Valley. After completing a degree at the School of Art in Venice in the early 50s she attended an intensive program at the Industri Kvinnelige Skole in Oslo, Norway where she was influenced by the distinctive tenets of Bauhaus textile design. She began hand-weaving intricate abstract patterns and other complex, artful designs. While still very young, she participated in the Milan Triennale and the Venice Biennale, several times.
At these exhibitions, Bonfanti met other creative talents: Gio Ponti and Dino Gavina, Dino Formaggio, Umbro Apollonio and Lara Vinca Masini, and continued to make beautiful rugs by hand. Bonfanti formally launched her brand, Renata Bonfanti, in 1954, and has maintained a reputation for brilliant, refreshing artistry and a keen eye for combining traditional techniques with contemporary architectural designs. Renata Bonfanti is synonymous with: quality, style, and craftsmanship, and is emblematic of the perfect marriage of art, craft and design.
Renata Bonfanti is a repeat recipient of the ADI Compasso d’Oro award and its designs are included in the Museum of Bellas Artes of Santiago, Chile, the Centre Crèation Industrielles and Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, Philadelphia’s Museum of Modern Art and the Museum Casabianca in Malo, Italy. Bruno Munarid said of Renata, “she has a new creative freedom as well as the wisdom of ancient Persian rug makers.”
Renata Bonfanti’s business model is open and flexible, allowing for a dialog between artistic influences, craft traditions and new ideas of any kind. Their facilities are sustainably designed and only use natural materials. They place an implicit and emphatic premium on quality and thoughtful construction.
Among their extraordinary collections of rugs is the ‘Normandia.’ These pieces are formed by hand sewing sheet materials together, connecting points and colors coalescing into unique patterns. Each Normandia rug is custom and made completely by hand. Equally notable are the wool, linen and meraklon Bengala rugs, no two of which are alike, and the Algerian rugs, also completely handmade, by using differently colored linens and wools. The Minerali collection allows clients to commission and personalize rugs to perfectly fit specific locations.
“I’ve always thought of weaving as an architectural art, and I cannot create a rug or other textile without first taking into account the location for which it is to be used.” – Renata Bonfanti
Renata Bonfanti balances research and tradition with inspiration. Their craftspeople use their eyes, hands, hearts and vintage industrial sewing machines to make rugs that showcase concepts, techniques and materials at their best. The company also produces: tapestries, tablecloths, curtains, bedspreads and other textiles.
Although they occasionally work on vintage industrial machines, Renata Bonfanti weavers rely primarily on their own hands and the depths of their experience. Some textile-making traditions have been passed down through many generations. Their workshops and facilities are structured so that the apprentice workers are able to learn from the more experienced.
Their company headquarters, built in 1960, was built to accommodate every phase of production and to allow the work to be done in a collaborative, communal way. Craftspeople are able to view and contribute to disparate projects and watch as various textiles take shape. Every contributor and every piece is important.