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Published: 10 October 2020

By Andy Ross

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Design for Gabbiani (seagulls) scarf by Enrico Paulucci delle Roncole. 1960. Tempera on paperboard

An exhibition in London's Estorick Gallery explores MITA - the acronym stands for Maifattura Italiana Tappeti Artistici, Italian Artistic Rug Manufacturer - and its contribution to the iconic textiles of the 20th Century. 

From 1926 until 1976, MITA, founded by Mario Alberto Ponis to create rugs using hand-knotting techniques from the Middle Eastern artistan tradition, made rugs, tapestries and home furnishings. Working with artists and designers, such as Fortunato Depero, to weave tapestries and fabrics, the company worked with private commissions, bars and clubs, restaurants, and finally, cruise liners.

Walls panel by Emilio Scanavino. Early 1960s. Screenprint on cotton. 

The bold colours and shapes of the textiles and the innovative ideas behind the designs are beautifully showcased in this small (but perfectly formed) show. 

The exhibition is on now and runs until 17th January 2021 at the Estorick.