In the northwestern corner of Spain in the little fishing village of Camarinas (Galicia), there is an old tradition that has been passed down from mother to daughter since the middle ages. It is the art of bobbin lace making.
In the middle ages, laces were used to decorate the clothing of mostly the wealthy. In the 18th century, lacemaking was an important industry in Camarinas. But by the 19th and early 20th centuries, lacemaking became less popular. For the past forty years or so (even though women in the village continued to produce lace for their daughters) there has been a huge revival.
Historically, Spain produced lace fans and mantillas.Bobbin lace is an especially fine lace. The ladies of Camarinas use ancient designs of roses, fern, leaves,lattice, and more.
The method is to place an oblong pillow in front with a cardboard stencil of the design. Then pins are pressed into the cardboard with linen thread (a product of the area). The bobbins are turned left and right and the design progresses. The job usually starts with 5 bobbins and can go up to 50 or more! The lace is very beautiful and delicate.
A very interesting attraction where you can purchase lace doilies, pillow cases, aprons, mantillas, fans, place mats, table clothes, etc.
There is a Bobbin Lace Museum (Museo do Encaixa de Camarinas) in town that carries samples of historic and traditional designs.
There are also the bobbins of Camarinas, and a photo archive.
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