I first heard of Philippine-made bobbin lace from a designer friend who had the opportunity to see these handmade confections at a bazaar. She wanted to include some bobbin lace pieces in my wedding dress, but time was our enemy and there just wasn't enough time for the lace to be made in time for my wedding.
That piqued my interest because I have recently realized how much work goes into handmaking lace. I looked closely at some pieces in dresses and in spools and I can't get over how intricate and beautiful they are. My ever reliable Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework book has the basics of making bobbin lace and some simple patterns for small projects. Now I'm not a slave to tools and gadgets but I feel that embarking on a bobbin lace making project requires, at the very least, proper wooden pegs to produce good pieces. I have yet to find the appropriate peg nor the dexterous courage to start this project.
I did however, find myself at the International Bazaar last weekend where I found the booth of WUTHLE (Women United Through Handcrafted Lace and Embroidery Inc.) with a breathtaking display of exquisite bobbin lace and quaint embroidered pieces. A lady was quietly demonstrating how bobbin lace is made at the corner of the booth. WUTHLE is a livelihood program that was started by a Belgian nun who taught ex-Hansenites and their relatives how to make bobbin lace and helped enhance their embroidery skills. At present, there are 50 women who depend on these crafts for a living.
I got some coasters for Php 140 each (about $3), not bad for something beautiful made by simple hands and an earnest spirit. WUTHLE also accepts orders for all sorts of decorative what-have-yous, from appliques for Barongs to placemats and pillowcases.