Burano lace

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“One of the most famous legends about Burano narrates that an ancient betrothed fisherman, while he was fishing outside the lagoon, in the east sea, hold up to a siren who tried to entice him by her canto. So he received a gift from sirens’ queen, enchanted by his faithfulness: the siren thumped the side of the boat by her tall, creating a foam from which a wedding veil developed. Came back home opportune in the day of marriage, he gave the gift to his fiancée. She was admired and envied from all the young ladies of the island, whereupon they begin to imitate the lace of the wedding veil employing needle-and-thread more and more thin, hoping to create a even more beautiful lace for their wedding dresses.”

Burano prides itself as the oldest center for embroidered/needle lace, a beautiful Island near Venice. Today many of Burano’s lace work is exhibited in the Museo del Merletto, in Burano’s little square. Lace was such a big part of the Island that the name of a famous lace worker, Cencia Scarpariola, was given to one of its street

The lace is created by 5 steps, each one executed by different people. By 1900, in Burano the lace was embroidered by much fewer people than in 1500 because many young women went to work in the tailors- shops in Murano or Venice. The ones who did, though, started very early, since they didn’t attend school and spent all the time with their mothers who taught them how to do it. At 12-13 years they started to go to school at the Scuola dei Merletti, managed by nuns.

There is also a Museum of Lace in Burano that shows unique pieces of lace.

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