Idrija Lace – the Threads of History
13.6.2017 | Fiona Thompson
Every year the lacemakers of Idrija hold an event to celebrate their craft and to show off their creations. The first occasion was in 1952 but the roots of this intricate craft in Slovenia reach back much further, with lacemaking having been introduced to Slovenia from the Czech and German parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire more than 300 years ago.
The lacemakers of Idrija soon developed their own style with special distinctive techniques and patterns. In 1876 they established a lacemaking school. In the latter part of the nineteenth century lace from Idrija began to be exported all over the world, becoming as famous as the mercury which also came from the town.
The festival includes a variety of events and activities, including a lacemaking competition in which the winner receives the Ivanka Ferjančič Award, named after the first teacher of the Idrija School of Lacemaking. Exhibitions are held in Gewerkenegg Castle and always feature some displays of lacemaking from other countries in addition to the local exhibits. Shops in Idrija town centre decorate their windows with displays of Idrija lace and specialist lectures and workshops take place.
In 2017 the Idrija Lace Festival is being held between 17 and 19 June,