It was said already by a lot of VTers for Burano, and I am enqueuing in the line of warnings about the lace that is sold in Burano. I was told that one table cloth of normal size will need 3 years to be made by 10 embroiderers. Now translate this into the cost for such a cloth. You won’t get it for 10 Euro and even not for 100 Euro. Consequentially, most of the lace has been made in China, and it is sad to see that some shops really sell this as “made in Burano”. This all leaves me with a bitter taste, as with Chinese crap overflowing western worlds and endangering jobs in the western world, I have refused to buy anything that is made in China.
So I didn’t buy anything in Burano, as if, I would have wanted to buy things that are actually made there – and this would have ripped a big hole in my budget.
The only real original lace, made by the embroiderers of Burano, can be found in the museum. The museum people are also able to tell in which of the countless shops on the island you can really buy original lace. It is not much shops.
I felt still somehow stupid, to come there and don’t buy anything (something that I will later on critisise for Venice) – adding myself to the flow of people that come, see and don’t contribute to the island’s economy.
But what I mentioned already on one of the local customs’ tips: there are beautiful ceramics decorating houses and gardens – maybe one day people will switch over also to other handicraft, made on the island, which they could sell.
Difficult issue – and I don’t have a real answer or solution. And don't get me wrong here - I am not criticising real Chinese things that are made in China, but the illegal plagiats and copys they do manufacture most of the time and selling here.
Burano is full of Lace shops but be warned the real hand-crafted lacework is expensive whereas the cheaper items will be of poorer quality and made by machine. Its all relative to the amount of time and effort put in though.
Because so few women continue to make this lace, Burano has imported similar lace from other countries -- probably China.
Unique Suggestions: You must talk to the clerks and impress upon them that you want the REAL thing. It is costly, but if you compare the pieces you will see there is a difference in the quality between the imported and what is made locally.
Fun Alternatives: If you are not interested in the lace, the atmosphere at Burano can be soaked up by just wandering around the canals.