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Università degli Studi di Padova

PHAIDRA – Digital collections

Montefibre Collection

Detail of the showcase of Montefibre Collection, surrounded by images of acrylic fibers seen under the microscope
Detail of a Montefibre collection showcase, framed by microscope images of acrylic fibers.

The Montefibre Collection comprises Venezia Porto Marghera Montefibre Research Centre Technical Library and some sample industrial products, donated to the Science and Technology Library of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in 2010.

The firm belonged to the Montecatini-Edison textile sector and was a leader in Europe in the field of synthetic fiber production up to the ‘70s. Its peak production during the ‘60s -’70s, shrinkage and relocation in 2000, plant dismantling in 2008 is the course which this firm shared with many other Italian and foreign textile industries in those years.

The donation to the Science and Technology library, which is located in the University campus under development near Venice-Porto Marghera industrial district, was carried out to safeguard the memory of a local company's products and make them visually accessible to a larger public.

The collection (PDF) comprises 708 books and 35 Italian and foreign journals dealing with material sciences, polymers, acrylic fibers, analytical techniques, chemical engineering, as well as documents about industrial plants and textile production processes, all published between 1920 and 2000. All book titles are available in Ca’ Foscari University online catalogue and may be given on loan on demand.

Exhibition area of Montefibre Collection

Exhibition area of Montefibre Collection.

The collection is preserved in its original shelves, together with 1970/80s sales catalogues and some firm textile samples produced to test the fiber mechanical properties.

It represents a testimony of the synthetic fiber experiments which the Venetian textile industry research centres carried out during the last century, fostering the creation and diffusion of innovative products in the field of fashion and special textiles patents.

Details of the showcase Details of the showcase.

The collection comprises the digitization both of some sales catalogues describing and promoting Leacril®, the synthetic fiber patented and produced by the firm from 1967 to 2008, and of images of spool yarns and textile samples which accompany the book donation. Leacril® is one of the most famous Montefibre patents which appeared in a famous series of TV advertisements in 1967. The ads are interesting also for the history of manners (for example see:

In 2015 the Science and Technology library of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice together with the Department of Environmental Science Informatics and Statistics group research in Conservation Science developed a project to promote and study the collections materials and firm products. The materials were studied and analysed by the students of the Course on "Materials for the contemporary arts" aiming at deepening and disseminating the artistic, technical and scientific knowledge for promoting the synthetic fibers, Leacril in particular.

Studies on the conservation status of the analyzed yarns and on the use of textile materials in art and design made it possible to develop methodologies for yarn use and conservation (see the project "Filo di Arianna").
Further information and documents about Montefibre Company activities are available online in Archivi della politica e dell’impresa del ‘900 veneziano.

The promotion of the Collection

Montefibre collection is an object of scientific interest for didactic activities and other purposes.


On the occasion of the Centenary of Venice-Porto Marghera 1917-2017 PM100, some textile samples were exhibited in a display case reserved to Montefibre Firm, at the Exhibition "Industriæ. Attraverso Porto Marghera" in  Venice Scientific and Technologic Park (VEGA).


Main subject of the speech “Arianna’s thread: an interdisciplinary project for the study and the promotion of contemporary synthetic fibers” in the International Conference "History, production, trade and use of Venetian textiles" at Palazzo Mocenigo Textile and Costume Museum (Venice, Italy).


Montefibre collection’s textiles were object of a didactic activity for the Course "Materials for contemporary art" (Master degree in Conservation Science and Technology for Cultural Heritage).

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