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2011/21/1 Doily, Idrija (Slovenian) lace, cotton, maker unknown, Idrija, Slovenia, 2002. Click to enlarge.

Idrija lace doily

Made in Idrija, Slovenia, 2002.
This handmade doily worked in Idrija lace represents a longstanding tradition in the cultural heritage of Slovenia. Located in western Slovenia, Idrija, famous for the second largest mercury mine in the world, operational for over 500 years before it ceased operation in 1994-1995, is also a renowned lacemaking centre. It is thought foreign workers and their families from Germany and Czechoslovakia brought with them handcraft skills which the wives used to supplement low wages, consequently beginning a tradition in lacemaking that has survived for over 300 years.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, the Church was the greatest consumer of Idrija lace. However, the Ministry of Trade in Vienna understood the cultural significance of lacemaking and established the Idrija Lace School which has been operating continuously since 1876. Lacemaking is included in the curriculum and the school also offers adult education classes.

The importance of lacemaking in the cultural life of Slovenia is recognised by the annual Idrija Lace Festival which attracts large crowds and includes many contributors, exhibitions and competitions designed to showcase artistic and technically accomplished pieces.

Today, the name 'Idrija Lace' is a registered trademark representing over 300 years of Slovenian history, tradition and creativity. Idrija lacemakers are gaining worldwide recognition as outstanding practitioners of their craft and lacemaking is now becoming popular in Slovenian towns that had no previous tradition of lacemaking.

References
Krivec, Rajmund. Idrija: A heritage of mercury mining and lace making, www.-fl.ijs.si, 2007 retrieved 15/11/2010
Skaarhog, Kaspar. Idrija lace - beauty created with needle, bobbin and thread,, www.slovenia.si, 2009, retrieved 15/11/2010
Idirja lace, A history written in thread, www.muzej-idrija-cerkno.si/razstava/sprehod-eng, retrieved 15/11/2010

W. Circosta 2010

Summary

Object No.

2011/21/1

Object Statement

Doily, Idrija (Slovenian) lace, cotton, maker unknown, Idrija, Slovenia, 2002

Physical Description

Doily, Idrija (Slovenian) lace, cotton, maker unknown, Idrija, Slovenia, 2002

This lace doily is made up of two tapes which each use eight pairs of bobbins. The inner tape forms the 'mushroom' design, and the outer tape makes the scalloped border. Simple sewing links the narrower spaces between the tapes and the wider spaces are linked with plaited bars, or flowers formed by leaf-shaped tallies.

Marks

No marks.

Dimensions

Width

215 mm

Production

Made

Idrija, Slovenia 2002

Notes

Named for the area in Slovenia where the style originally developed, this bobbin lace doily worked in cotton tape by an unknown maker in 2002, is known as Idrija lace.

Mirjam Gnezda, curator at the Idrija Municipal Museum describes the lace as "good quality, some elements are very precisely made (eg. Tallies - little flowers with leaves). ……the motifs are old, that means they were typical for Idrija lace of the first period (1870-1920). It is made of broad tape or string. The main motif in the middle is composed by four mushrooms and the lace is called 'globe', which means 'mushrooms' in translation. It is known that those patterns were drawn by natives and the names were given to them by lacemakers. Around the mushrooms we can see another motif called 'rogljicki' (weaving tape or string) that are often made in combination with others."

Bobbin lace or pillow lace is identified by the way it is made on a firm pillow where a pricked out pattern is tacked and each twist of bobbin is held in place by a pin. It is a free-form weaving process incorporating the basic moves of crossing, twisting and braiding of threads that can be executed in an infinite number of variations. Typical of Idrija lace is the use of continuous tape through the design with motifs connected with lattice work of brides or other elements. Originally, only white linen or cotton thread was used. Coloured thread was introduced much later.

Originating in the Goriska region of Slovenia, Idrija is the site of the world's second largest mercury mine in the world. In operation for over 500 years, the mine played a major role in the development of Idrija as an important lacemaking centre in Slovenia. It is thought foreign workers and their families from Germany and Czechoslovakia brought with them handcraft skills which the wives used to supplement low wages, beginning a tradition in lacemaking that has survived for over 300 years. Idrija is now recognised globally as the premier bobbin lacemaking centre in Slovenia.

The oldest documents referencing lacemaking in the Idrija region date back to 1696. Lace trading or 'peddling' was an important commercial proposition with merchants selling small goods including lace, known at that time as 'Idrianische Spitze'. Peddling was associated with the smuggling of lace up until after Word War ll. Lace trading was conducted by private merchants who established home manufacturing in the latter half of the 19th century. The manufacturer provided the lacemaker with material and purchased the finished product at a low price. After World War ll, lacemaking was managed by large state owned companies.

Influenced by market demands, trading significantly impacted the development of lacemaking in Slovenia. Commercial considerations resulted in changes in technique and appearance of Idrija lace. Mass production resulted in simplified, plain designs which were faster to implement, requiring only 5 pairs of bobbins compared with dozens or several hundred needed for intricate patterns.

Originally, Idrija lace was worked continuously in metre pieces as trimming for clothing, household textiles and ecclesiastical robes and accoutrements. The church was the greatest consumer of Idrija lace until the beginning of the 20th century. By the 19th century, the lace was worked in parts (non-continuous lace) and by the 1970s, tape lace worked in parts gained widespread recognition throughout Europe.

The Ministry of Trade in Vienna opened the first official lacemaking school in Idrija. The school has been operating continuously since 1876. From 1974, the Idrija Lace School was amalgamated with the Secondary School Jurij Vega to educate school children and adults in lacemaking techniques. Previously lacemaking knowledge had been passed down from generation to generation.

The domestic market includes everyday linen, clothing, ecclesiastical robes, church linen, bridal trousseaus, national costume and head dresses, earrings and necklaces.

W Circosta 2010

References:
Krivec, Rajmund. Idrija: A heritage of mercury mining and lace making, www.-fl.ijs.si, 2007 retrieved 15/11/2010
Skaarhog, Kaspar. Idrija lace - beauty created with needle, bobbin and thread,, www.slovenia.si, 2009, retrieved 15/11/2010
Wagner and Associates, The Town that Quicksilver built - Ljublhana Life Magazine, www.slovenia-life-com, 2009, retrieved 15/11/2010

History

Notes

Originally purchased from a souvenir stall in Slovenia, the Director of the Slovene Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana, Slovenia, offered the lace piece to Mr Anton Veenstra in 2002. Aware that the Powerhouse Museum's extensive lace collection did not include an example of Idrija Lace, Mr Veenstra donated the doily to the Powerhouse Museum in memory of his mother, Rozalia Antolin born in Doklezovje, Slovenia.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Anton Veenstra, 2011

Acquisition Date

1 April 2011

Cite this Object

Harvard

Idrija lace doily 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 11 August 2020, <https://ma.as/413572>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/413572 |title=Idrija lace doily |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=11 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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