Lace Finds in Budapest Hungary

This is another posting of my lace finds from my September, 2013 honeymoon trip to eastern Europe–Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.

I will let you in on a little secret….I’m also interested in needle lace in addition to my main love of tatting. I grew up ’embroidering’ and doing every form of fiber art that I could get my hands on (knitting, crochet, macrame, surface embroidery) in rural Nebraska. I learned to tat a bit later in my childhood years.


In addition to my Split Ring Tatting Addiction, I also teach and design needlelace in the following types: Carrickmacross (Irish), Teneriffe/Nanduti (Spanish, Paraguay), and Romanian Point Lace.


I had two conflicting lace-related happenings to report to you from my trip:

  • I knew that Budapest, Hungary was close to Kiskunhalas, Hungary where the extremely beautiful Halas Lace is still produced. I didn’t have the time to take a side-trip to Kiskunhalas so I asked around Budapest. The Budapest textile/lace merchants knew about it and said that ‘No, I wouldn’t find it in Budapest’ and that ‘It’s expensive’. So no Halas Lace as a souvenir for me. Even if I had found some, I probably would not have wanted to pay the price they want for even a small piece!
  •  I was quite pleasantly surprised to find alot of lace and textile shops in Budapest. The big surprise was finding what I know as ‘Romanian Point Lace’. They call it ‘Macrame Lace’. Of course this country is close to Translyvannia (in Romania) where I know the lace to come from. What I found out is through the ages, alot of Hungarians ended up in Romania and vice versa. So that is why the lace is prevalent there.

So, I was in Macrame/Romanian Point Lace Heaven for several days, buying and examining pieces.

Actually it wasn’t extremely common. A textile/lace shop would only have a few pieces of it, some had none at all. After awhile I started seeing the same design elements in pieces, leading me to believe that the same person(s) created most of the work I found.

My Romanian Point Lace/Macrame Lace/Hungarian Lace Finds–2013

These following two pieces were purchased in completely different areas/shops in Budapest but appear to have the same design elements in both pieces.

Here are some different pieces that I purchased. The three smaller pieces were of higher quality.

This is the piece of Kalocsa Embroidery/Lace that I purchased in Budapest, Hungary.

Kalocsa is a town 88 miles south of Budapest.

The colored embroidery is hand-done.

Then the ’embroidery’ is turned into ‘lace’ with a sewing machine–usually old sewing machines with the feed-dogs dropped out, creating the design with machine stitching.

This is another hand-embroidery piece that I purchased. It is Translyvannian in design and worksmanship.

It is a pillow cover and is now in my living room.

Alot of the textiles and lace that I found in Budapest had connections to Translyvania (Romania).

The following pictures are of textiles that I photographed in a shop in Budapest.

If you look closely and can see the detail of the first and last photo, you will note that the textiles are created in a style of embroidery most people know as Hardanger (Scandinavian).

I talked to one shop owner about the origins of the different lace types and she said that the Hardanger-like embroideries that you see in the top & bottom pictures are truly Hungarian. In fact she pulled out her own work to show me.

The middle photo shows Kalocsa embroidery/lace pieces.

Unfortunately I didn’t have enough money or suitcase space to bring everything home with me!!!