Bobbin lace making on the UNESCO's intangible heritage list

Published: 6.12.2018

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Bobbin lace making on the UNESCO's intangible heritage list

Next to the door-to-door rounds of Kurents, the Škofja Loka Passion and dry-stone walling, traditional Slovenia’s bobbin lace making has also been put on the UNESCO’s intangible heritage list.

Bobbin lace making on the UNESCO's intangible heritage list

On 29 November, the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage listed Slovenia's bobbin lace making on to the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage.

In March 2017, Slovenia officially submitted the nomination for this special technique of lace making, which has been handed down from generation to generation. The tradition is the strongest in the north-west, around Idrija, Cerkno and Škofja Loka. There are around 120 associations and groups dedicated to lace making around Slovenia. There is even a bobbin lace making school in Idrija, as well as the annual Idrija Lace Festival. Thus, Idrija is considered the cradle of Slovenia’s bobbin lace making. From there, the know-how was brought also to the nearby village of Žiri, where another bobbin lace making school with more than 100 years tradition can be found. Here, another annual festival dedicated to bobbin lace making takes place each July.

In the past, bobbin lace making was an important economic activity. Nowadays, it represents a popular pastime for elderly, children and youth. It serves as an inspiration for fashion designers, industrial designers, contemporary visual artists and architects, as well as for renowned chefs.

Other entries on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage are the door-to-door rounds of Kurents, a traditional Slovenian carnival costume, (since December 2017), the Škofja Loka Passion, the mass staging of an early 18th-century play (since December 2016), and since recently also dry-stone walling, the ancient building method used in Slovenia, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, France and Spain. The art of dry-stone walling concerns the knowhow related to making stone constructions by stacking stones upon each other, without using any other materials except sometimes dry soil.

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