Lace from Cogne - "Les Dentellières" Cooperative
Valuable and sophisticated lace from Cogne tell the tale of an ancient story covering four centuries with its subtle patterns. It started in 1665. At that time, some Benedictine nuns fled to Aosta Valley from the monastery in Cluny and were hosted in different towns of the region, where they taught local women the art of pillow-lace work. Over the centuries, the packaging of pillow-lace work in Cogne, was handed down from mother to daughter exclusively via teaching and direct experience, unlike similar French and Belgian productions that made use of cardboard pieces reproducing the various designs.
Having miraculously reached the present day, despite or as a result of this fragile connection, the art of pillow-lace work also represents the tenacious bond that people in Aosta Valley have to tradition.
The skilful female companies interweave motifs with the extremely fast play of spindles on the circular cushion of lace making (a circle, the “coessein”, stuffed with straw and wool, supported by its singular “cavalot” a wooden piece of furniture sculpted with the classic rose motif, Christ’s monogram and the year of workmanship as well as the name of its first owner). The interweaving with linen thread is created by working with numerous spindles.
From the pillow lace, to which the work is attached through pins with multicoloured pin heads, stem amazing designs of animals, flowers and items with archaic, evocative names in the local dialect. For the women of Cogne, this kind of rare beauty represents the par excellence ornament, the sophisticated, frivolous detail on a stern, rigid black “drap” dress.
Nowdays Cogne counts on 40 lacemakers assembled in cooperative, with an annual production of about 1.500 meters lace of exceptional quality.
- until 12 September: open every day, 10am – 12.30am / 2pm – 6pm
- from 13 September: open from Wednesday to Sunday 10am – 12.30am / 3pm – 7pm closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
For opening times in other periods, please contact the cooperative directly.