The Domenico Michelacci Museum of Straw and Straw Weaving in Signa is located in the municipal building that also houses the municipal library and the historical archive.
The museum collects materials, equipment, documents and photographs associated with the farming and handling of straw in the production of hats and fashion accessories. Here you can also admire a vast collection of woven goods from various corners of the world. The display is distributed across several rooms with permanent collections and themed exhibitions.
The main room exhibits a selection of hats dating from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s, while a second room gathers the various equipment required in the manual production of straw and manufacturing of hats.
In Tuscany, working straw is a long-established tradition that by the sixteenth century had already reached such levels of refinement that Grand Duke Cosimo I sent many examples of hats as gifts to the various sovereigns of Europe. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, here in Signa, locals began to farm wheat not for nourishment purposes but to grow straw in order to make hats. This revolutionary initiative allowed the Florentine area to become the top producer of quality straw hats in all of western Europe.