Monday, October 15, 2012

Punto Maglie

Photo copyright Associazione Punto Maglie.

The town of Maglie is located in the Apulia region of south-east Italy. The heel of the boot if your Italian geography is a little vague.

Punto Maglie or Maglie Embroidery is a type of needle lace which takes its origins from Burano, the famous lace-making island in the Venetian Lagoon.

Photo copyright Associazione Punto Maglie.

Characteristics particular to Punto Maglie are the human figures (pupo or pupa, masculine or feminine) often found among the geometric motifs, the most important of which are the star motifs.

Inserts are built upon a support of fabric with the pattern attached on top and are then cut away from the support and inserted into fabrics. Whole pieces can be constructed in this manner or by withdrawing some threads of the ground fabric and building on top of it in a similar method to traditional Reticello.

In 1905, as an experiment, evening embroidery and lace classes were added to the curriculum of an Applied Arts school instigated by Egidio Lanoce, advocate and pioneer of technical schools for the working classes. It was here that Punto Maglie was born.

Photo copyright Associazione Punto Maglie.

Around the same time a local noblewoman, Lady Carolina De Viti De Marco in Starace started a group of embroiderers, some who had trained at the Applied Arts school, to produce embroidered items to sell in order to supplement their household incomes. Lady Carolina and her descendants would go on to become very important to the textile arts of the area, but let's leave that for another post.

Photo copyright Associazione Punto Maglie.

Embroideries and laces from Maglie were exported to America and other European countries and participated and were recognized in the various International Fairs of the period.

Magie enjoyed much success with these endeavours until the years of the First World War.

Today the tradition of Punto Maglie is continued by the embroidery school Associazione Punto Maglie located at no. 60 via Luigi Puzzovio in Maglie. You can contact them by email at: punto maglie @ virgilio . it (remove all the spaces between the characters).

Many thanks to Liliana for the photos!


  1. Dearest Jeanine,

    Incredible pieces of needle lace! So unique and so finely done... A joy to stop by here.
    Hugs to you,

  2. Il tuo articolo è molto interessante. Le foto belle e i merletti fantastici. Grazie Jeanine.
    Un abbraccio

  3. Ho potuto ammirare dal vivo questo ricamo e vi posso garantire che è veramente fantastico.
    grazie per la sgnalazione

  4. These are truly masterpieces! Magnificent! I'm always amazed by those human figures in Italian embroidery. Thank you so much for sharing. :-))) judy

  5. Thank you so much! We have a set of placemats with exactly this kind of lace which was passed down in the family. It's neat to find out where they came from and the approximate time period! They are white with tan lace, though.