The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

Watch - Woven through time: Bizzilla

Giulia Magri Sunday, 7 July 2019, 09:30 Last update: about 14 days ago

Today, International Lace Day is a day aimed at celebrating and encouraging others to learn about the history and craft of lace making.

Traditional lace making, requires a great deal of patience and fine movements, yet the end results are inevitably worth it. Maltese lace making is unfortunately is becoming a dying trade on the island. Maltese lace, better known as ‘il-bizzilla’ is interwoven throughout Maltese cultural history.

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To celebrate one of Malta’s oldest and arguably most beautiful traditions, The Malta Independent met with two individuals, both coming from different cultures and background, but who have one thing in common; their love for  il-bizzilla’.

Marquis Nicholas De Piro, of Casa Rocca Piccola, who invited The Malta Independent to view his lace collection, which is arguably the largest collection of lace on the Maltese Island.

The Malta Independent also spoke to Bibiche Rath, the founder of Hajja, a social enterprise that wants to give new life to Maltese lace, whilst also making a positive impact on people’s lives.. With a background of fashion, Bibiche was always fascinated with clothes and fabric and fell in love with the Maltese tradition craft.

A tradition which dates back to the 16th century, introduced by the Order of St John, there was a high demand of lace and lace makers due to the significant role lace played as a fashion accessory back then.

Knights, nobles and aristocrats were all embellished with Maltese lace. Maltese lace is a style of bobbin lace made in Malta and is worked as a continuous width on a tall, thin, upright lace pillow. The bobbins, made from wood, bone or plastic, hold threads which are then woven together and held in place with pins stuck on the pillow.

To celebrate International Lace Day, today Palazzo Falson will be organising an event where one can experience both the museum and even get to try lace-making. The lace-making demonstration is free, but the museum entry fees apply to tour Palazzo Falzon.

Video: Alenka Falzon
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