Craftwork and creativity
The origin of bobbin lace is located in the north of Italy and arrived in Catalonia in the 17th century. Women were paid for this job done at home or, if the weather was good, on the street. Lace was integrated as a valuable element on household linen and bed linen, on handkerchiefs and some clothing: from mantillas to cuffs or skirt hems. The tools needed to make bobbin lace have not changed since its origin: a lace pillow, bobbins, needles, thread, patterns and scissors.
Malgrat de Mar has been recognised for the quality of its bobbin lace. Martí Casas Rabiol, a textile wholesaler from Malgrat who specialised in bobbin lace and who promoted this craft in our town, was rewarded by King Alfonso XIII in 1906 on the occasion of a lace contest in Arenys de Munt.
During the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, with the arrival of industrial lace, which was much cheaper, handmade lace lost popularity. During the Spanish Civil War, bobbin lace was a symbol of wealth and was revalorised again. Still, it was not until the late 20th century when the revival of bobbin lace really took place. New bobbin lace makers don’t work out of necessity but for pleasure, as a hobby, and they invent new styles and experiment with new materials, which results in original pieces with a superb creative spirit.
Around 1980 the Town Hall encouraged this tradition in Malgrat, teaching bobbin lace for a couple of months per year. In 1998 a group of bobbin lace makers formed the Association of Bobbin Lace Makers (Associació de Puntaires) from Malgrat de Mar, which organises several events and exhibitions and the Annual Bobbin Lace Makers Meeting during St. Roc’s Festival.