The History of Lace

Information on the origin of lace is uncertain. The most important evidence of its first production come from old frescos, paintings and paper
patterns, besides from historical publications which began around the Maestro of Offida in the second half of 1330 and Simone De Magistris in
1500 are assumed to have used Offida's lace patterns for their works. The name of Offida's lace appeared for the first time in a 1511 document
dealing with a donation of laces by the Town Council to the Holy Cross Church as a wish for putting an end to the 1507 plague. In 1600 lace
production was no longer only a prosperous handicraft, but also a means of sustenance for several local families. Lace production increased
and distribution soon grew in quality and refinement, beginning to be exported by merchants, as shown by a sale contract of 24 May 1612,
today kept in the notarial archive in Ascoli Piceno. In 1700, at the end of the great plague, the weaving industries developed, health conditions improved and people were more and more concerned with the way they dressed, especially with their underwear. This new handicraft was
particularly appreciated by local women who saw it also as a new source of income which enabled them to express their own skills and the
pleasure for a beautiful and satisfying activity which could be carried out at home or through the streets, along with friends and neighbours. An increase in Adriatic Riviera Tourism since 1950 as well as many local initiatives have contributed to make Offida be known as the town of pillow lace.