The rust print or traditional Romagna print has existed for about three hundred years. In the village of Santa Sofia numerous artisan families are handed down this characteristic production and carefully preserve the oldest molds.
The protagonists of this print are the wooden matrices, which, after being carved by hand, are immersed in color and pressed hard on the fabric to be decorated. The next step involves a long drying in the sun, followed by the traditional washing, based on boiling water and ash, called ranno. The decorative elements that are printed on tea towels, pot holders and other fabrics, are among the most disparate, the most common designs in the Romagna tradition are the floral motifs, cornucopias and grape clusters.
This ancient fabric processing is still present in the alta valle del Bidente and is carried out with great creative impulse: the traditional printing process is kept unaltered, while the designs and colors are updated. The only introduction of new techniques, within the production process, concerns the ironing, which is done through a specific machine.