The small municipality of Latronico is in the province of Potenza in the Basilicata region of southern Italy. The town has about 5,000 people. Last year at the Italia Invita Forum in Parma, Rosanna Pirotto and Maria Perretti from the Cultural Association Il Tassello caused quite a stir among needleworkers with their Puntino ad Ago di Latronico [needle lace of Latronico] booth. They taught two hour workshops to some 80 people and sold a little booklet on the technique.
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)
The technique had already caused a bit of excitement when it was featured on the cover of the February 2009 issue of RAKAM magazine and had a feature article in the April 2009 issue of Ricamo Italiano.
The article in RAKAM tells of ancient origins in the cities of Magna Graecia and of the early 20th century popularity of this technique in the surrounds of Latronico as an embellishment for bridal trousseaux. Today in the area it is often an embellishment of clothing, lingerie and table linens.
The projects in the Ricamo Italiano issue are realized using very small knitting needles (nos. 1 and 1.5) as mesh sticks and Pearl Cotton no. 12 with a Tapestry needle for the execution of the needle lace netting.
This technique can also be found in Thérèse de Dillmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework online – see figures 618 and 619 and the text under the heading: Loose loops in clusters.
If you're up for the challenge, check out Filiforme's latest freebie: gorgeous little bell ornaments made of Latronico Netting complete with stitch diagrams.