Island of Pag

Hands holding needle and making island of Pag lace

Lace-making on the island of Pag has a tradition of more than 500 years. In the Convent of St. Margaret, the nuns instructed girls, teaching them to read and write and to make lace. The lace was produced without any template. Each woman takes the work of her mother and grandmother as an example, and then adds personal thoughts and emotions to create a unique and exquisite art work.

Pag lace was first officially presented at the 1880 exhibition. History recalls the time when Pag’s women were summoned to Vienna, to the imperial court, before the Archduchess Maria Josepha, the emperor’s mother, to show her how Pag lace is made. This lacework became Royal supplies. Word of beauty and perfection of this lace was carried far and wide, and its production intensified after the mayor Frane Budak established the Lacemaking School in Pag in 1906. Pag Lacework won the gold medal at the Paris World Exhibition in 1937. The school operated until 1945.

In order to maintain the tradition of making lace, in 1994 local people with the help of the government reopened the lace school and began to organize instruction for interested women in Pag. Today Pag lace is made according to original designs (more than 50 designs, patterns). In the city center there is a small exhibition room where are exposed more than a hundred laces that have been preserved for more than 150 years.