UNESCO lists traditional Polish lace
Koniaków lace, a crochet technique unique to the Beskidy mountains of southern Poland, has been added to Poland’s list of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.
The lace is handmade using white or beige cotton thread, called floss. The technique is more than 100 years old.
“One can learn it only by coming to Koniaków,” said ethnologist and anthropologist Lucyna Ligocka-Kohut, head of a cultural centre in Isdebna, close to Koniaków.
She added that the technique’s uniqueness is the reason it was heritage-listed.
“Until recently, lace makers strongly guarded their profession. They did not want to teach people from outside,” Ligocka-Kohut said.
Koniaków lace is made without a pattern and comes in various sizes and shapes, usually circles or starbursts, and often features floral motifs. They are a traditional Polish gift and more notable recipients include Pope John Paul II and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
There are about 700 lace-makers in Koniaków. Five of them worked together to make the world’s largest lace, a circle five metres in diameter.