The living tradition of lace-making in Halas

The living tradition of lace-making in Halas (2010)

The town of Kiskunhalas in south-central Hungary is home to the more than 100-year-old world-renowned tradition of Halas lace-making. Árpád Dékáni a young teacher and Mária Markovics a plain seamstress were the creators of the unique sewn lace-making technique in 1902.

The making of Halas lace is a painstakingly tedious, time-consuming process that is done exclusively by hand with exceptionally fine white thread, practically invisibly thin needles and meticulous dexterity and attention to detail. Only select initiated lace-makers were privy to the coveted technique, whose numbers varied over the years between 80-100 women and has since dwindled to a mere 11. The official trademark of this particular lace – found even on the smallest 2-3 cm lace articles - is the symbol of 3 fish superimposed  upon each other.

Even today the original century-old distinctive patterns and motifs can still be seen on Halas lace and the original unique stitching techniques are unchanged. Halas lace remains a symbol of not only the inhabitants of Kiskunhalas, but a unique example of Hungarian handicrafts.

Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO
Elemér Muharay Folk Art Assosiation
Assosiation of Hungarian Folk Artists
Institute of Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Kriza János Ethnographic Society
Hungarian Ethnographic Society
Museum of Ethnography
Hungarian Heritage House
National Cultural Institute