The Cotton Museum of Cairo

Publishing project sponsored by Filmar S.p.A.
May 2013, Edition I
Content design and graphic design: Laura Dossi - Sintattica
Fotografia: Simone Rivi
Printed in Italy by Officine Grafiche Staged. San Zeno Naviglio (Brescia)

Marco Marzoli interview.

The cover of the book, The Cotton Museum of Cairo is the colour of silt.
Rising up out of this colour of fertile mud, a very unusual plant is born: a plant whose fruit is a living lamb. What is this?

"I really wanted to have it on the cover!" This is how Marco Marzoli, Managing Director of Filmar SPA, introduces this publication entirely dedicated to cotton, which his company has published and promoted. "This mythical creature, that many find so astounding, symbolises the cotton plant. Its name is Barometz and the legend of Barometz is unveiled inside the book.
When I first came across Barometz, at Cairo’s Museum of Cotton, it immediately made a deep impression on me and I decided I wanted this plant to the be heroine of our new book."

How did the idea for this new publication arise?

"On a visit to the Museum of Cotton in Cairo, I discovered a unique digest of the history of cotton both in Egypt and across the world.
This white gold is here the subject of an encyclopaedic study embracing subjects from botany to farming and processing techniques: from geographical charts to social history. Hundreds of samples of seeds, tufts and fibres from all over the world are preserved in exquisite rosewood display cases. The Museum also exhibits period photographs, precious textile artefacts, documents, manuscripts and detailed models. The story of cotton is told through every one of its aspects, with a meticulous human passion for cataloguing.
But tourists to Egypt are more attracted by the greater pull of the Pharaoh era, and so, inevitably, this extraordinary place has been forgotten over time.
During my visit, the thought struck me that I had to carry some of this knowledge back out beyond the museum’s walls.
Thus was formed the idea of a book that will soon also become an internet site, freely accessible to all."

The Italian Embassy in Cairo, the University of Alexandria, the Alexandria Cotton Exporters’ Association, the Consulate, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Egyptian Ministries of Agriculture and of Industry ... Why have so many Egyptian institutions sponsored this work?

"Because cotton has bound Italy and Egypt to each other ever since time immemorial. Egypt is the producer of the best cotton in the world and Italian manufacturers - with us in the forefront - pursue the quality that only a material of such excellence can confer on our textile products.
This book is a tribute to Egyptian cotton and to its land of origin, to this material which is as basic as it is beautiful, which has enabled us to stand out in terms of quality.
It is our hope that this book may provide a useful and educational tool for promoting the culture of cotton in our respective countries and beyond.
We have chosen to produce a photographic and popular work, intended to appeal to a broad readership and not exclusively to specialists."

Is it a book for a renewed form of patronage?

"Cooperate. I think this is the founding motto of a new economy. An economy that is not a slave to numbers, but is able to express itself using the forms of the word, of sentiment and of giving.
An economy of qualitative growth comes specifically through taking care of oneself, of others and of the world. To nurture the community, to promote culture and to consolidate human relations in an economic space that does not exclude life but which is based on reciprocity."

For those interested, how can copies of the book be obtained?

"By contacting Filmar until the first print run has run out. Beginning from July 3, the contents of the book will be published on the dedicated website:"

Related links:
The first presentation of the book "The Cotton Museum" takes place in Cairo
At Pitti Filati sheep sprout from the trees!
"The Cotton Museum of Cairo" cocktail party at the Lemon Grove


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The Cotton Museum of Cairo

La fabbrica del filo nell’ovest Bresciano

ieri la seta, oggi il cotone e le fibre man made

by Marino Gamba and Francesco Ghidotti

Publishing project sponsored by Filmar S.p.A. on their 50th anniversary in business
IBBN 978-88-8486-380-5 | July 2009, Edition I
Texts: Marino Gamba e Francesco Ghidotti
Content design and graphic design: Laura Dossi - Archimedia
Printed in Italy by La Compagnia della Stampa. Roccafranca (Brescia)

When important goals are reached, it is not only right but also imperative to commemorate the event: it is a significant anniversary or the achievement of substantial production or business goals. This is particularly true when both types of goals are reached, as in the case of Filmar. We want to highlight, even with some pride, the social and economic importance built over half a century - with passion, commitment and tenacity.

When it seemed that the spinning of cotton was irreversibly destined to decline, we showed that this was not the case. This was thanks to the dedication and trust of two generations of entrepreneurs who always believed in the business, even in times of crisis. New horizons have been opened by Filmar. The company has been able to carve out important areas in the domestic and international arena, in a difficult area marked by fierce competition fueled by globalization.

Special thanks and recognition must first go to Louis Marzoli, the founder of Filmar, who for nearly four decades firmly guided the company. Overcoming the difficult times at the start up, it was thanks to the tenacity and lucid vision of this man that the company was consolidated, thus opening the door to success today.
The fifty years at Filmar have given us the opportunity to tell the story of our yarn factory, starting from the direct testimony of an entrepreneur, his biography, and the history of his company.

The authors Marino Gamba and Francesco Ghidotti


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La fabbrica del filo nell’ovest Bresciano

The cotton philosophy

Publishing project promoted by Filmar S.p.A.
Content design and video editing: Archimedia multimedia communication
Printed in Italy at Marinimedia, Milan

The vocation of a company to the most basic fibers - cotton - selected in its most valuable variety: 100% Egyptian cotton. From the plantations in the Nile Delta, to the process of finishing the raw material, the experimental research on the new types of performance of yarn and new visual and tactile appeal, this presentation is offered in a corporate video through images, and narrated by the extraordinary voice of Luca Ward.


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The cotton philosophy