If you've been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that in March we visited Venice and one of the most interesting places was the lace making island of Burano. I decided to do a separate post on this exquisite lace making industry because it’s such a rare art form these days and one that the residents and lace makers of Burano are trying to keep alive/revive with lace making workshops held on the island. The island has so many stores selling lace amongst other things, and most are authentic but like most things these days, you have to watch out for the imposter posing as true Burano lace. It’s hard to know which shops are selling authentic Burano lace and which pieces are made in a foreign country. One clue is the stores are not run by Venetians (this is the kind of information you gain from living with locals instead staying in a hotel -insider info is always good to know).
Burano lace dates back to the 1500s. Sadly throughout the centuries it declined but was revived again in the 1900s by Cencia Scarpariola, a well-known lace maker who initiated the revival of this ancient craft. In 1978 the public administration of Venice combined forces with theAndriana Marcello Foundation to revive and investigate Burano Lace restoring the old building where the original lace makers met to work the lace and thus formed the beginning of the Burano Lace Museum.
I found myself walking into the prettiest store on the main avenue called Emilia, drawn in by the beautiful bed display of Aston Martin bedding, which with a name like that the bedding has to be more than fabulous! I found myself talking to the owner (via an interpreter in the form of a sales assistant); an exquisite looking lady of a certain age; (why is it that Italian/Venetian women are so elegant?) The shop itself was pure refined luxury and the lace on the tablecloths and edging of towels is all handmade, a real labour of love.
Four-generations of lace making has made this store one of the most sought after with one of the finest collections of handmade Burano lace on the Island. I was more in a shopping mood than a photo taking one. I viewed a really beautiful handmade lace tablecloth for Euro2500 which took around a year to make and certainly worthy of the price if your pockets are deep enough. I did ask the owner if I could take a few pictures and in particular a few of the elegant lady making the lace. It was awe-inspiring to say the least and everywhere you looked, were beautiful towels with lace edging, tablecloths and exquisite bedlinen. Unfortunately, I didn't take photos of a vintage handmade wedding gown which was housed in a glass case for all to admire and swoon over.
I didn't come away empty handed, I bought a beautiful handmade lace tablecloth with matching napkins worthy of a banquet. In fact I found being in this lace shop quite addictive, I could have bought so many items and completely bust the bank as these tablecloths and bedlinen are not cheap and are more trousseau worthy than your usual linen cupboard finds.
I hope you enjoyed my little excursion into the lace making industry.