Koniakow, the 500-year-old village in a strongly traditional southwest part of Poland that produced Pope John Paul II, is nearly totally unreachable during wintertime, particularly heavy in terms of snowfalls. For two generations, the women have hooked thread in intricate crochet patterns to generate Christmas lingerie coveted by royalty across Europe. It was a form of art taught by mothers to daughters, done at home after the daily farming chores were finished, bringing honor and income to the small local population.
Oval or round, created using tremendous patience and skilled tablecloths reached tables of kings, aristocrats, bishops and all those with abundant levels of money to enjoy along with a want to live surrounded with splendor and sweetness. Koniakow lace decorates tables in Vatican, Buckingham Palace, the White House and several other eminent places.
Then came G-strings. Last fall, some lace makers trying to earn money spun a racy twist to the art, deciding that Sexy Underwear would sell better than doilies. Since, the town of three,000 has been doing an uproar, neighbor pitted against neighbor over lace thongs.
“Lace making has long been an easy method for individuals to make money here,” says the 56-year-old mayor from the village, “But because the strings started, the neighborhood continues to be divided: about money, about morality, about tradition.”
Some traditional lace makers accuse the renegade lace makers of greed. Others say the thongs defile tradition, are indecent and promote se.x. “Our lace graces Polish altars, the office of our own president and this in the holy pope in Rome,” says the president of a local craft guild of lace makers who has been utilizing lace for six decades. “And suddenly, our lace is turning up – I don’t dare say where. How did the lace makers of Koniakow visit this?”
“Times are tough,” say their adversaries in the conflict, “handkerchiefs and tablecloths don’t sell well.” Lace making in Koniakow began in the 1800s when young ladies began creating caps of white lace to don after their weddings. Shortly after, say lace makers, women inside the town begun to weave tablecloths, altar ornaments, clergy robe collars along with other ornaments yhnwgj adorn Polish religious and family occasions, as a way to supplement their income. Like heirlooms, patterns and lace needles passed through generations.
During communist times, business was good. The community was supported by the state in official craft guilds and subsidized being a nationally recognized art. Orders poured in from state-run stores, prominent officials planning to utilize them to provide as official gifts and clergy who used the lace in ceremonies and also on their clothing.
Things changed when communism collapsed inside the late 1980s. The government subsidies stopped and state-store orders dried out. Borders opened to influence and products from your West. People became poorer as they lost state jobs within the former planned-economy.
The scanty underwear some lace makers already were quietly making by themselves started stirring local debate in June 2004. The suddent shift from religious ornaments to Lace Sexy Lingerie was noted by major news sources worldwide. Magazines as reputable as The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune as well as the New York Times covered the topic and around that period the thongs have began being available online. Each pair can be made to some customer’s specifications of design and color. Although the lingerie is unquestionably feminine, it stirs interest among men too, being unique and sophisticated romantic gift ideas.