Bobbin Lace

The production of lace embroidery has become increasingly popular with those who may be considered connoisseurs and lovers of beauty. The peculiarity of the work, its difficulties, evident in the production time not unlike those of our ancestors are carving a product sought and appreciated.

In the small town of Offida in the region of Marche, Italy, you can find a special technique used to  create bobbin lace known as “ Merletto a Tombolo”. The lace is made on a pillow or cushion called a “Tombolo” which is supported on a wooden tripod called a “prepenna”. Threads are fastened to wooden bobbins which are then attached to the unique patterns using pins. The different stitches are made by twisting and crossing the threads to create a light, transparent and intricate lacework.  

Historically it is not known how or when this art started in Offida, but some say it possibly dates back to the second half of the 14th century. Demand for the handmade lace increased during the 17th century as the quality and refinement of the craft increased. Throughout the centuries it has been attached and used in a variety of ways from men’s armour to ladies lingerie. 

Traditionally women undertook this craft as it gave them an extra source of income. They learnt the technique from their mothers and aunts before them. Bobbin lace making was not only an outlet for women to express their creativity but it also gave them companionship as they were able to work freely in the company of their friends and neighbours.    

If you wander through the streets of Offida today, especially in the summertime, you can still hear the bobbins being twisted and turned in the doorways and streets of this historic town by women of all ages.

To preserve this tradition and ensure that the craft continues for generations to come we are working together with the artisans to bring you a fine selection of this beautiful work.

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