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Bobbin lace

Already more than a century ago, Luserna boasted a renowned antique bobbin lace (in Cimbrian: Knöpln) school. History has it that many of the sumptuous gowns worn by ladies in the nineteenth century were embroidered by the handsome hands of Luserna’s women.  Contrary to other laces made with a single thread and the help of needles, or crocheted or knitted, bobbin laces were made by interlacing an unlimited number of threads. Even in Luserna lacework was a deeply rooted art, supported by a school that at the end of the last century allowed local women to support their families income, albeit in a modest fashion. The events of the first half of the twentieth century (fire in 1911, World War I, options and migration) led to an increasing neglect of this traditional workmanship. Since November 1996, the Kulturinstitut Lusern has been offering a bobbin lace class, an initiative that was made possible thanks to the cooperation with and wise experience of two teachers from Rovereto (TN): Cesara Perini and Enrica Dalaiti. Thanks to this initiative, it has been possible to also recover typical local drawings, and today, under the wise guidance of Barbara Pierpaoli, Luserna’s bobbin lace school is still in operation. For this type of work, it is necessary to have a lace pillow, bobbins, yarn, pins and drawings. The lace pillow consists of a cylinder filled with sawdust and covered in fabric; the drawing of the lace is pinned on it. The bobbins are made of polished wood and feature a pinpoint around which the yarn is wrapped. The yarn can be made of linen or cotton. The pins must have a head, since they are needed to stop interlaces. For each bobbin lace, it is necessary to follow the exact design to be completed. Bobbins are worked in two ways: twisting and interlacing. With these two movements, half and full stitches can be made in a variety of combinations.