Pronounced: PALL-eech-ko-vah-nyeh

A Short History

The oldest information about this type of lacework is from the 16th century from Italy, and from there this lacework spread to the whole of Europe. Dalmatian, Flemish and Spanish laces became well-known and were a means to make a living. There were lace-producing centers in the past supported by the state (i.e. Maria Terézia established the school of lacework in the year 1761) and also by the Slovak nationalists from various clubs (unions).

Lace-making also spread into Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England and to the area which later became Yugoslavia, from where it probably spread to Slovakia.

Slovak lace registered success at the different world exhibitions, i.e. in Moskva (Moscow) in 1867, in Paris in 1892, in Vienna in 1897, and in Brugge, Belgium in 1956 where it inspired great interest.

The oldest records in Slovakia are the records of miner lacework from the poor miner women from the Banská Stiavnica, Banská Bystrica and Kremnica mining districts.

During the long winter evenings, peasant women were also making laces which then were used for decoration of bonnets, folk costumes, and various parts of clothes. They were also brought to market for supplemental income.

The women who were making the lacework used different materials such as flax, hemp, cotton, silk, gold, and silver threads. They used a contrast of thin and thick threads.

The laces differ by technique and color according to the region (i.e. in the district of Piestany it's the color of white, yellow and red). White laces were favorites with the women in the mining regions, but also in the Bratislava district.

In Eastern Slovakia they often used black-colored laces. The laces from Slovenský Grob, Vajnory, Pezinok, and Topolcany are very colorful.

By the first half of the 20th century, Slovak lacework had already been replaced by machine and crochet lace. It is a dying art but not because of its lack of beauty. It is very time-consuming work and machines can do the job in a fraction of the time, so like so many other hand-made items of the past, there are fewer and fewer people willing to do this type of work.

Looking at the pictures on the various pages, you can see there are differences in the size and detail of each item. For example, the moon is one of the simplest items to make and takes about 3 hours. The picture titled HORSE takes about 15 hours.

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