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Pag folk costumes are still being kept in many families. Inherited or made after the old ones, they are extremely valuable and tell us much about how local people appreciate their heritage. The origins of the folk costumes date from the medieval Venice, and have been kept preserved as such until today. Male costume is very simple; it consists of a white shirt, white trousers and a short black jacket.

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Saturday 16 Feb 2019
Pag's lace

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The town of Pag, founded in 1443, had been planned symmetrically according to the principles of Mediterranean urbanism with the main square and a net of parallel streets. A part of this harmony is transferred in the needle work of the women of Pag. The unique beauty of the lace tells a story about the island of its origin, and the centuries' long wish of its people to preserve this beauty.

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The lace of Pag, sewed by needle, traces its origins from the needlework of the eastern Mediterranean. Its quality equally matches the quality of the needlework of the neighbouring countries.

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The first real lace emerged in Renaissance. That is the time when polychrome mediaeval colouring in art was replaced with the new kind of beauty, characterised by a simple, white pattern. Original lace sewn with a needle has always been strictly geometrically shaped. One of the basic shapes, seen on the folk costume, is RETIČELA. The name actually refers to the rectangular area in the linen , filled with fine lines resembling spider's net, that serve as a base for sewing desired motives using stitch called OBAMETA.

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Pag's women call this kind of needlework- "paški teg" – meaning "women's needlework". It is found on the front side of shirts and on the shorter sides of POKRIVACA – women's head scarf. "Paški teg" has been made without written drafts. Women would just have to glance at the work of their mothers and grandmothers to be able to make one of their own. This was a long, precise and hard work which demanded patience, sharp sight and always steady and clean hands.

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At the beginning of the 20th century, under the influence of the lace making school in Pag, the lace ceased to exist as a part of the linen and became independent. Since then, up till now, women have sewn mostly doilies of different sizes and shapes, beddings, altar covers and decorative handkerchiefs. It is also known that many new creations are being born thanks to the lace makers that, we might say, genetically carry some elements in their memory. Ethereal in its visual concept and firm in its rendering, this lace seems like transmitting to the world some part of the rocky ground of its origin. It speaks of the continuity of life on this island, of the identity of the Croatian man who has been living with it throughout the centuries.


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