The art of lace making is one of the Brazilian cultural expressions that fascinates people given its intricacy and beauty
You must have seen it during the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympics: there centre stage, a circle of women dressed in gorgeous white dresses, weaving. Well, these were female lace makers.
This craft arrived in Brazil in the 18th Century, thanks to Portuguese families. Found mainly in the Northeast, the lace makers live scattered across the states of Bahia, Alagoas, Pernambuco and Paraíba.
Lace is a transparent, thin and delicate fabric that can take various forms, with interlaced designs made of flax, silk or cotton. The craft, which is extremely labour intensive, generates beautiful fabrics that adorn garments, curtains, towels and bedding. The art is one of great social importance because for the lace makers this is no hobby, but work. Carried out principally by women, the lace helps support the income of many families.
Weaving on roadsides, under coconut trees, on the porches of their houses and even on the beaches, with patience and mastery they pass on their tricks of the trade to their daughters, just like the previous generations of women before them.
Products made with lace, brilliantly crafted and proudly representative of a beautiful tradition are true works of art that fascinate both Brazilians and foreigners.