Bobbin lace-making is a unique phenomenon in Slovenia. It has
developed most intensively in the Idrija area, although the skill
has always been practiced in other parts of the country. Traditionally
it was the main or additional source of income. Later it became
a product which was to become associated with the area. The first
lace-making firms appeared in the late 19th century.
Following a decline in lace making
after World War II, there was a revival in the eighties, which
continues today. The Idrija lace (idrijska ccipka) is regarded
as representative of Slovenian heritage and creativity in the
field of handicrafts and as such a popular gift for state and
An important and unique aspect of lace making is the education
of lace-makers. The Lace-making School in Idrija was established
in 1876 and has continued without interruption till the present
day. More lace-making schools were opened later and in 1995 the
first textbook on lace making was published, Klekljanje (Bobbin
Lace-making), the only Slovenian textbook on handicrafts.
of lace-making tradition and modern art applications in the
work of Sassa Pussnar
Debeljaks art pieces incorporating bobbin lace
made of wire into glassware is a model example for
the future development of traditional handicrafts.
courtesy of ROKUS publishing, from Handicrafts of Slovenia
by Janez Bogataj
there are many lace-making schools in Slovenia and many private
lace-making companies that encourage the development and popularization
of the craft. Annual exhibitions and competitions produce numerous
technically and artistically accomplished pieces by the many outstanding
practitioners of the handicraft.
The lace produced today is mainly
traditional, replicating traditional products and motifs, and
serving established functions. However, we have also the beginnings
of a modern approach to lace making, such as lace paintings.
A new decorative function has developed, beyond tablecloth
edges and collars. Patterns are used in a creative way to achieve
new interesting effects, and new patterns are being designed.
New materials are being used instead of the traditional cotton,
such as silver and gold wire. In this way Andrazz Debeljak produces
original masterpieces, which are presented as lace paintings or
appliqués on glass.
Handicrafts of Slovenia: Encounters with Contemporary
Slovene Craftsmen by Janez Bogataj