The Maltese word for lace making is ‘il-bizilla’. History of lace making goes all the way to the 16th century when pillow lace was created in the Italian city of Genoa.
One of the Earliest photos of Lace Making using the Combini, in 1910 Gozo
Lace was introduced in Malta by the Order of St John around 1640. There was a high demand by the knights, the clergy and the members of the Maltese aristocracy. Which led to a significant increase in lace makers.
“Guaranteed Real Malta Lace” from J. Formosa, in Kingsway, Valletta in the 1920s
It continued to flourish until the end of 18th century, when the Maltese islands were taken over by Napoleon Bonaparte.
Lace-Making also made it onto Postcards of the 1950s
Seen also here in a 1950s Postcard in Marsalforn
Gozo Lace Available Here!
This is what Xlendi in 1967 looked like. Nothing like a bit of Combini undeneath the shade!
More often than not, tourists stop by old women working on their Combini to get a closer look at how it is all done
…and in Gozo’s streets and alleyways, the above is a common sight, which just screams, tradition!
We do love our Maltese Lace, so much that it is even given as a State Gift on Special Occasions. Pictured above is Malta’s gift to Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of Princess Charlotte