Marche maintain numerous artisanal traditions to this day. Each year, its historic towns and cities host a number of initiatives aiming to promote ancient arts and crafts. Especially in Offida (AP), the art of bobbin lace is a tradition that dates back to the 15th century, when it began to acquire popularity among the working classes; by the 17th century, religious communities and aristocrats had adopted it as well. Lace achieved widespread popularity after the establishment of Benedictine nuns in Offida in 1655. Numerous documents testify to extensive artisanal lace manufacturing in Offida over the centuries, and this tradition continues unabated to the present day. Offida’s lacemakers used to meet in the town’s streets and work in small groups. Lacemaking is a painstaking task that requires patience, and while it remains faithful to ancient methods, it also reflects recent fashions and trends. There are currently four styles of Offida lace, based on the type of design, the manufacturing technique, and the number of bobbins used:
punto nastrino: a cross-stitched straight lace (tape) with torchons forming various motifs;
punto antico: made with a variable number of bobbins, as many as several hundred. Can be divided into straight lace, tape lace, or figurative lace;
punto Venezia: made with at least nine pairs of bobbins. Designs include violets, flowers, and roses with a hexagonal ground;
punto Rosalin (rosalia): made with at least five pairs of bobbins. Typified by rounded florets with inserts.
The Museum of Lace in Offida displays valuable examples of local bobbin lace, and hosts an annual exhibition of the laceworks entered into the “Fusello d’Oro” competition.
The Museum currently offers lacework courses.