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Vologda lace weaving: history and photos
Vologda lace weaving: history and photos

Lace weaving is a special type of folk craft. Vologda craftswomen created airy and intricate patterns with the help of bobbins. The knitting device was an ordinary wooden stick. Distinctive features of finished products are the richness of ornaments, the variety of patterns, the purity of lines and the observance of geometric proportions.

First meeting

Vologda lace chipped

Vologda lace is famous for its special, original performance. In the course of creating their works, Russian craftswomen were inspired by woodcarving patterns, with which the architects generously decorated the facades of buildings. The choice of designs was also influenced by traditional weaving ornaments for the northern regions of Russia.

Special Become

Needlewomen have also found use for ancient motifs of embroidery. A striking example of this is the weightless and translucent patterns of all kinds of "snowflakes" and "spiders". Vologda lace closely echoes "Vologda glass". This trade existed only in the county. The works of local craftswomen are distinguished by a lot of characteristic features:

  • smooth and curvedline;
  • clear and rhythmic ornament;
  • presence of geometric shapes;
  • an abundance of plant motifs.

Natural images prevail in the works of needlewomen. They repeat the bends of the branches, the outlines of the petals and leaves. Recreate the contours of horseshoes and open fans. All together they form a unique kaleidoscope of the famous Vologda lace. It is lavishly adorned with elongated shamrocks and spiky buds, rounded buds and a scattering of morning dew.

Vologda lace photo

In the products of the northern craftswomen, the general trend of weaving is clearly visible. All motifs are arranged in the form of a wide border encircling the core of the work. The drawings merge and form ornate ornaments. A weightless cobweb stretched between them and the center, forming an openwork background. Looking closely at the Vologda lace, you can see that all the patterns are made in a mirror image.

They are symmetrical and even. This technique was widely used by Russian craftswomen. He provided products with special clarity, statics and rigor. The so-called gratings, of which several dozen variants are known, replaced the background. They favorably emphasized the composition of the product, the idea of ​​​​the needlewoman. Songs and poems are composed about the patterns of Vologda lace. They serve as an obligatory attribute of the design of tourist booklets about the northern regions of Russia. It is lace that still personifies the original Russian art of weaving.

Historical digression

splinters of Vologda lace

Since ancient times laceturned off the edges of festive and everyday clothes. They were decorated with bedding and table textiles. These unusually light and airy products were created by representatives of absolutely all Russian classes. Pieces of Vologda lace were passed down from generation to generation. Ornaments of gold and silver threads were woven for the royal court.

Peasants used flax fibers. Later they switched to cotton threads. Historians say that the art of creating lace in the Vologda region took shape at the end of the 17th century.


For almost two hundred years, products have been knitted at home. And at the beginning of the 19th century, a specialized factory was built a few kilometers from the modern city. On it, each piece of Vologda lace was woven by serf women. At the beginning of the 20th century, the craft of creating openwork decor was finally formed in Vologda. Needlewomen of the Gryazovetsky and Kadnikovsky districts distinguished themselves. Each of them had their own unique style. They used original ornaments that only a true connoisseur of this art can distinguish.

At the end of the 19th century, about 4,000 women were engaged in lace-making on the territory of the Vologda province. At the beginning of the 20th century, 40,000 girls were already involved in this craft. The fashion for decor from openwork ornaments spread to the capital cities of Russia, and then appeared in the countries of Western Europe.

Past and Present

Vologda lace patterns

The first works were distinguished by an abundance of stylized natural motifs in the form of birds andplants. Over time, the traditions of weaving Vologda lace gradually changed. Today, local craftswomen increasingly use geometric contours, unusual floral shapes and monumental elements. Throughout the century, needlewomen regularly received international awards and prizes. They have earned recognition in Paris and Brussels.

Vologda lace: patterns

Vologda crochet lace

Openwork weaving of threads today is used not only to decorate linen and clothes. It is used in the production of Christmas decorations, household items. From it create independent elements of the wardrobe. Snow-white collars and cuffs, capes, scarves, aprons and boleros are very popular with fashionistas.

The most popular patterns among today's fashionistas are "kosoryadka", "turtle", "porcelain", "spider". As well as "keys", "fish", "repeek", "circles", "mill" and "ships". The motifs "path", "braid", "polotnyanka" and "flow the river" are known. The “branches-wires”, “eye-brows-tortures” and “money” look original.

Modern needlewomen are trying to repeat the motifs of Vologda lace crochet for knitting. Products are airy and openwork, but still a little different. They are imitations and therefore inferior to the original.


Vologda lace heart

The high cost of braided rather than knitted products is due to the large number of threads used. In some models, it reaches sixty. Keeping track of so many bobbins is veryand very difficult. Punch cards came to the aid of modern needlewomen.

These are stencils that make it easy to create complex patterns. The fixture is a sheet in which a huge number of holes have been made. A punched card helps needlewomen not to get tangled in the threads.

In the 20th century, patterns for dimensional lace were scooped from the works of talented painters. Here are just the most famous names:

  • A. A. Korableva.
  • M. A. Guseva.
  • B. V. Sibirtseva.
  • B. D. Veselova.
  • B. N. Panteleeva.
  • M. N. Grunicheva.
  • E. I. Humala.
  • B. N. Elfina.
  • K. V. Isakova.

At the moment, there are only a few artists who create ornaments for knitters. This profession is almost completely forgotten and prone to oblivion. But without it, nothing new can be created. Previously developed chips are passed from hand to hand. They are the prototype of the future product.

The photo of Vologda lace shows how painstaking and complex work it is. One wrong move of the bobbins leads to a loss of the integrity of the pattern, a change in the overall impression of the product.

Soviet period

Vologda lace weaving

In the era of the USSR, several specialized enterprises existed on the territory of the region at once. All of them were engaged in the production of bobbin lace. The Snezhinka plant was rightfully considered the leader in this area. More than one thousand needlewomen worked on it. The main workshop was located in the center of Vologda, on Uritskogo street. It employed only a few hundredwomen.

All the rest wove their products at home, being in remote villages and villages of the region. Fairy tales were considered the main theme of Snezhinka products. Her motives were traced in the design of napkins and collars, scarves and cuffs. The hallmark of the production was the openwork tablecloth "The Scarlet Flower". She has received a number of valuable awards and worldwide recognition.

The shape of the central motif resembled an unknown bouquet. Small flowers and leaves intertwined in its center. Together they formed a single canvas of the picture. A translucent background surrounding the image draws attention to the core of the composition. The creation of this airy masterpiece belongs to V. D. Veselova. At the Snezhinka enterprise, she worked as a leading craftswoman, and at the same time created ornaments and stencils for needlewomen. Later, her work was continued by the daughter of N.V. Veselov. The work of the plant was managed by the artist G. N. Mamrovskaya.

Original traditions

B. N. Elfina is another outstanding craftswoman of the association. She is a fan of the use of large and voluminous forms, which are combined with the finest gossamer background. Elfina's most famous work was the Singing Tree panel. The needlewoman presented this work to the court of lacemakers in 1978.

Creating this canvas, the craftswoman was inspired by the spring awakening of nature. She put into it images of singing birds and blossoming flowers, swollen buds and first leaves. The pattern of the "Singing Tree" turned out to be very dense, intricate. But the background surrounding him came out amazingly airy and weightless.

In the work were usedthick harsh threads and snow-white cotton fibers. Their combination gives the panel an unusual silver tint. In the light, it looks very light, in the dusk it becomes more contrasting and textured.

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