When you’re walking along the streets of Pag, there’s a good chance you stumble upon an elderly lady peacefully threading an interesting pattern with a needle. The pattern she is creating is of the famous Pag lace, a beautiful souvenir created by skills passed on by centuries.
Alongside Pag cheese and salt, Pag lace is one of the most recognizable symbols of this beautiful island.
This amazing product is first mentioned in the 15th century and is believed to originate from Mycenae. The technique and patterns were passed on from generation to generation, kept alive and perfected by Benedictine nuns until 1906 when the mayor of Pag finally opened an official school for lacemakers.
Pag lace is a Croatian product and is considered a national cultural heritage, but it is also recognized by UNESCO and is on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list. It is also an integral part of the traditional Pag folk attire, another item on UNESCO’s list.
Delicate, durable and world-famous
Pag lace is sewn with an uncommonly thin thread, which makes it exceptionally sturdy. There are about 50 standardized patterns, but the final pattern can often be a result of the lacemaker’s imagination.
Pag lace was formally introduced at an exhibit in 1880, but its first big recognition happened at the Paris World Fair, where it was celebrated as a piece of needlework of exceptional value in 1937. Queen Maria Theresa famously had her own Pag lace maker present in Vienna whose role was to create lace for the entire palace.
You can buy Pag lace in a number of souvenir shops in the city of Pag, and If you wish to see a collection of the lace firsthand, visit the Pag Lace Gallery in Pag’s city center. It holds about a hundred different patterned lace pieces and visitors can learn about the lace making process as well as try it for themselves.
If you like Pag lace, check out some other cool souvenirs to take from your trip to Croatia. Once you’ve picked your favorites, come to Pag for a vacation you’ll enjoy remembering!