Local crafts


Details and description

Have you ever heard of the gold of Sant’Antioco? If the answer is no, we’ll soon put that right, and tell you about this very precious material, crafted by the skilful hands of local artisans. It is extremely rare and comes from the bottom of the sea! Do you want to know what it is? We are talking about byssus, or the “silk of the sea”. These tufts of filament are harvested from the Pinna Nobilis, the largest bivalve found in the Mediterranean and currently a protected species. After this precious fibre has been processed, it takes on beautiful, shimmering gold reflections, marking it out from any other thread and making it so very rare and special.

If you want to know more about the history of this material, you need to learn about the important contribution of Maestro Italo Diana. During the last century, his weaving school produced articles of rare quality and beauty, passing on the traditional spinning and weaving techniques to another generation. There are still skilled artisans in the village who know how to work with the byssus, producing items of great beauty and value.

Not just byssus

If you think that’s all there is, you’re wrong! Sant’Antioco has a long and important tradition in other crafts, such as wood carving, with the historic local school of Giovanni Cossu. A special craft involved weaving reeds and rushes to create deep containers known as crobededdas, and a shallow, rounder version called parineddas. The traditional local baskets called is carteddus were also in common use. You can still see these artifacts around today, and in displays at the Ethnographic Museum, giving you an insight into the family life of local people in the past.


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Via Roma 47, Sant’Antioco SU

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