The Maniago Region
In Northeastern Italy the flat farm plains meet the sudden rise of the Dolomite mountain range which separates Italy from Austria to the North and Slovenia to the East. A visitor there will find gorgeous landscapes, picturesque towns with historic plazas, vineyards, wine, and delicious food–in short, all the beauty you would expect from the Italian countryside. But what makes this region (historically known as Friuli) special is its long history as a center for highly prized cutting tools–knives, scissors, spears, etc.
Beautiful Maniago Region Landscapes
In 1483 a local Count named Nicolo received permission to create an irrigation ditch whose increased water flow was soon powering trip hammers in ironworks along its length. Aided by iron ore and wood fuel from the mountains, the region became a leading producer of farm tools and cutting implements. Eventually its output expanded to spears and blades to satisfy the military needs of the nearby city-state of Venice, which lies directly to the south.
Some of Maniago’s Beautiful Architecture
Today the production of spears may have slowed, but the region teems with factories making a wide range of knives, scissors, gardening tools and, yes, even the occasional sword (though mostly for movie props these days). The means of production have been modernized: water-powered trip hammers and wood burning forges have been replaced by faster and more powerful versions, but the attention to detail and the commitment to the craft remain the same and are evident in each tool.
Making the Italian Vine Pruners
We have developed relationships with many of these artisans over the decades and we value our relationships with them, as well as the history they represent. We also appreciate the fact that many of the makers we work with are family companies, and have been passing their skills down through generations. Their commitment to their craft stands the test of time, and we are proud to offer their products here at Garrett Wade.
The Makers of Maniago