Burano Lace, Venice
The island of Burano is famous for its lace, but these days the problem is that there are so few women left on Burano willing to spend the time to make these delicate artworks and much of what you find there and elsewhere in Venice is imported and produced by machine in Hong Kong. There are some notable exceptions fortunately. The lace and linens made by Jesurum or Mazzaron are not just works of art, they also are machine washable. But fine machine embroidery is also a complex craft, not to be underrated.
Jesurum warehouse and workshop
Address Fondamenta della Sensa, Cannaregio 3219, on the same canal as the Bridge of Sighs. Outlets at Piazza San Marco 60-61 and Merceria del Capitello 4857, San Marco
Celebrities and heads of state have come to the workshop of the Mazzaron sisters, each design is named after the person who first bought it.
Fondamenta dell’Osmarìn, Castello 4970
What to buy: Authentic Burano Lace
If you want to buy proper, hand-made lace, insist on a label of authenticity, and expect to pay a high price.
What to pay: The cost of a rectangular tablecloth can range from $400, it takes the needlewoman more than three years to make a tablecloth for 12. There are also less expensive items, such as silk chiffon squares with an embroidered spray of flowers in one corner for $40-50 each.
At Jesurum there is a little gift department for shoppers on a smaller budget. It carries little lace collars for $33 or guest towels with your choice of initials for $20 each and little lavender bags with a dolphin embroidered on them for $10.
Lace work can be found around the world, but in Burano it is more than craft, it is a passion. The beautiful work is done with utmost care and with great pride. The problem today is less and less lace is actually hand made in Burano. Can you remember your grandmother's dining room table? Did it have a lace tablecloth on it? If so, it just may have come from Burano. I personally remember my grandmother's wonderful lace tablecloth that came off when dinner was served, so that we would not soil the lace.
What to buy: Anything in lace. There are so many items that are made right here in Burano. It takes a long time to make a tablecloth or anything that is huge in size. The stitching is unbelievable on some of the pieces. Lace adds an old world charm to any setting. My favorite piece of lace was a wall deco piece. Magnificent and graceful. A wonderful addition to the guest bedroom. The cost is the only drawback. As high as $4-5 thousand dollars for a large piece such as a tablecloth. Several shops have Burano hand made lace and the website below names a few places.
What to pay: The more intricate the work on the lace, the more expensive. Also, the size of lace makes the price go up. Make sure that you are buying Burano "made" Lace and not from another country.
Legend has it that a young Venetian seafarer brought his beloved a seaweed from the far, distant seas. As she wanted to preserve the memento for ever, she painstakingly copied the delicate outline and patterns using her needle and thread.
What to buy: The production of Burano lace in the Venetian Republic reached its heyday in the 16th century. The impulse for expansion had been given to this traditional type of needlework by Duchess Morosina Morosini, Doge Morosini's wife. She was so fond of Burano lace that , at the end of the 14th century, she established a workshop employing 130 lace-makers. The lace produced in part found its way into the Duchess personal wardrobe, but much of it was presented as a gift to her friends in the greatest courts of Europe.
What to buy: In Burano's island you will find the tipical local craft: laces. You will find a lot of shops selling tabel and bed clothes, shirts, centrepieces,....