needle lace

Greenwich Village Lace


A young Italian female immigrant in Greenwich Village in the early twentieth century had few options if she wanted to earn a living outside the small tenement apartment she likely shared with her family. If she found work, it was almost certainly unskilled factory labor in unhealthy working conditions for little pay. In 1905, progressive upper class New Yorkers Florence Colgate Speranza and her husband Gino Speranza imagined an alternative: a clean, light-filled workshop where women might learn a skilled trade and earn decent wages.
Scuola d’Industrie Italiane, needle lace, Greenwich Village

Lace in Concert


The cravat is an early version of a man’s necktie. It could be a plain piece of white linen tied around the neck, with the free ends falling below the throat. A gentleman’s cravat would have been decorated with fine lace, as lace was especially fashionable for men in the 17th century. During this period, the greatest lace makers were working in Italy and Belgium. France, however, wished to create a competing industry that would stop the costly imports of lace.
cravat, France, needle lace, fashion, 17th century, Charles LeBrun, Jean Bèrain the elder