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Materia Museum Visit the Materia Museum for a journey into the history and innovation of Prato's textile sector

Do you want to know the origins of the great development of textiles in the Prato district? Then all you have to do is visit Materia!

The Materia/Museum of Dyeing Art, Renewable Energy and the Environment was inaugurated in 2016 thanks to the idea of the Colle Group. This museum is not simply a traditional place, but a real tool to raise people's awareness of the environment and a new way of communicating ethical, historical, artistic and technological contents.

The building, since the Middle Ages, has been used for production purposes, hosting over the centuries a mill with three millstones, a fulling mill, an ironworks, a copper mill and a rag mill. In the twentieth century, a carbonizing area and a dye house were added.

Thanks to this fascinating history, Materia offers a complete narration of textiles in the Bisenzio Valley and Prato in general.

Water is the undisputed protagonist of the museum, considered an essential raw material for all dyeing processes. But modernity is the distinctive feature of Materia. The two main experiential attractions are the Confessional and Augmented Reality. The Confessional invites visitors to reflect on their role in environmental pollution and to make a promise of more sustainable behavior, to be expressed aloud. Augmented Reality is an installation that takes visitors on a journey through time, taking them through a medieval fulling mill, a sixteenth-century dyehouse and, finally, projects them inside the Colle factory to show a future vision.

In the basement rooms, known as "hell" due to the water wheels that were housed there, it is possible to admire a beautiful wooden ritrecine (hydraulic wheel) and the rare remains of a cast iron turbine from the late nineteenth century.

The museum welcomes visitors upon reservation, offering a unique experience that reveals the secrets of the history and innovation of Prato's textile sector.

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