Koniakow, the 500-year-old village in a strongly conservative southwest part of Poland that produced Pope John Paul II, is nearly totally unreachable during wintertime, particularly heavy in terms of snowfalls. For two centuries, the ladies have hooked thread in intricate crochet patterns to produce Christmas lingerie coveted by royalty across Europe. It was a form of art taught by mothers to daughters, done at home following the daily farming chores were finished, bringing honor and income to the small local population.
Oval or round, made with tremendous patience and skilled tablecloths reached tables of kings, aristocrats, bishops and all sorts of those that have abundant amounts of money to invest along with a need to live surrounded with splendor and beauty. Koniakow lace decorates tables in Vatican, Buckingham Palace, the White House and lots of other eminent places.
Then came G-strings. Last fall, some lace makers trying to make money spun a racy twist towards the art, deciding that Sexy Underwear would sell better than doilies. Since, the city of 3,000 has been doing an uproar, neighbor pitted against neighbor over lace thongs.
“Lace making has always been a way for individuals to generate money here,” says the 56-year-old mayor from the village, “But because the strings started, the city has been divided: about money, about morality, about tradition.”
Some traditional lace makers accuse the renegade lace makers of greed. Others repeat the thongs defile tradition, are indecent and promote se.x. “Our lace graces Polish altars, work of our president and this from the holy pope in Rome,” says the president of any local craft guild of lace makers that has been dealing with lace for six decades. “And suddenly, our lace is turning up – I don’t dare say where. How did the lace makers of Koniakow come to this?”
“Times are tough,” say their adversaries in the conflict, “handkerchiefs and tablecloths don’t sell well.” Lace making in Koniakow began within the nineteenth century when young ladies began creating caps of white lace to don after their weddings. Right after, say lace makers, women inside the town begun to weave tablecloths, altar ornaments, clergy robe collars as well as other ornaments yhnwgj adorn Polish religious and family occasions, in an effort to supplement their income. Like heirlooms, patterns and lace needles passed through generations.
During communist times, business was good. The neighborhood was maintained by their state in official craft guilds and subsidized as being a nationally recognized art. Orders poured in from state-run stores, prominent officials planning to utilize them to present as official gifts and clergy who used the lace in ceremonies and on their clothing.
Things changed when communism collapsed within the late 1980s. The federal government subsidies stopped and state-store orders dried out. Borders opened to influence and products through the West. People became poorer because they lost state jobs in 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 City Times covered the subject and around that time the thongs have began being offered online. Each pair can be produced to some customer’s specifications of color and design. Although the lingerie is definitely feminine, it stirs interest among men also, being unique and sophisticated romantic gift ideas.