Vologda lace has won deserved fame and world-wide recognition for its high artistic value, rich ornament, and excellent workmanship. The earliest laces, which have reached us, date back to the 17th century. The lace woven from golden and silver threads decorated rich civilian and church garments and was mostly used by the nobility.
Vologda lace is a kind of Russian lace tatted with bobbins. Continuous smooth line, which never crosses and forms a pattern of Vologda lace, is a woven braid ('vilushka') over a thin openwork grid.
Vologda has always been one of the main centres of Russian lace tatting, and in the 19th century it became the most famous one. It was that time when lace-makers began to tat lace patterns in the form of wonderful stars and snowflakes. Vologda lace reminds of hoarfrost on winter glass, which will disappear under the first rays of the March sun. It looks like a thin spider line, which will be torn by a waft of wind. They are like symbols of something innocent and momentary.
At the beginning of the 20th century Vologda lace gained its distinctive artistic and stylistic features. The richness and variety of the decorative pattern, the clear-cut easy line of the design, monumentality of forms and predominance of floral motives distinguish traditional Vologda lace.
At the World Fair in Paris in 1937 the Vologda Lace Association was awarded a prize for the novelty and artistry of its lace articles; at the Brussels Exhibition in 1958 Vologda lace was awarded Gold Medal.
The present development of lace weaving in Vologda and in Russia is above all associated with the "Snezhinka" lace firm. The firm employs lace-makers and professional designers. Lace is woven by hand with the help of bobbins. Like a few centuries ago, it represents the glory of Russian lace, its impeccable quality and style. Lace products are in great demand both in Russia and abroad. The product range is very wide: elegant panels, napkins and tablecloths made of both bone-lace and hook lace and finest hand-made dresses – light pelerines, cardigans, capes, scarves, blouses and jackets.