14th Biennial 2019

    • slide 14bienn sett en 700


      Cantù, 13th – 27th October 2019

      OPENING CEREMONY: Corte San Rocco, via Matteotti 39 - Cantù
      Sunday 13th October, 10.30

      Comitato per la Promozione del Merletto has been organizing the International Lace Biennial in Cantù since 1993, in order to keep the historical memory of this art alive, to pass it on to the future, and at the same time to find new application spaces, renewing its decorations and use, while retaining the high quality of execution. In the historical section we present in Cantù part of the exhibition that was hosted in the museum rooms of Palazzo Morando | Costume Moda Immagine complemented by documents recently received and organized by Comitato per la Promozione del Merletto as a witness and tribute to a precious art cultivated over time with patience and passion.

      The event is dedicated to a very ancient craft specialization defined in Italy with three equivalent terms, "merletto", "pizzo" and "trina". Two closely related factors contribute to the merit of lace: the novelty of the project, which only creativity can guarantee, and technical perfection, which requires consolidated experience. Skills that have met in Cantù to create innovative projects. The exhibition documents this precious synergy through a selection of prestigious specimens, partly accompanied by the related projects. It is thus possible to follow not only the productive history of this manufacturing center whose activity has continued from the seventeenth century to the present, but also to reflect on the fate of an Italian specialization of excellence which, from the second half of the twentieth century, experienced alternating fortunes in fashion as in furnishings.

       Download Lace descriptive card

       Download City Map

      To visit the 14th International Biennial, until exhaustion capacity of the structure, it will be possible to stay at a guesthouse in Cantù.

      For specific requests contact:
      Ph. +39 348 2215068
      e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    • Merletti a Cantù dal '900 ad oggi


      Centro Espositivo Corte San Rocco, via Matteotti 39 - Cantù

      From Tuesday to Sunday 9.30-12.30 e 14.30-18.30

      In the pavilion of Corte San Rocco, in via Matteotti, the exhibition proposes the path that starts from the seventeenth century, continues with the Royal School of Art Applied to Industry (1888) and with the entrepreneurial spirit of the new factories. Noteworthy is the contribution to the history of lace by the teachers who worked in the Lace section of the Cantù Art School, from the establishment of the specific workshop in the early 1920s until its crisis in the 1960s. A story that continues to the present day, thanks to the passion of so many lacemakers who, independently or gathered in associations and schools, continue to produce high-quality technical artifacts.

      PHOTO: 5th Biennial, October 2001, Cantù, Padiglione espositivo, via Manzoni

      For specific requests contact:
      Ph. +39 348 2215068
      e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    • Merletti e design 2019


      Cortile delle Ortensie, via Matteotti, 33 - Cantù

      From Tuesday to Sunday 9.30-12.30 e 14.30-18.30

      The heart of the 14th Biennial was, in the splendid Cortile delle Ortensie in via Matteotti, the fifth “Lace and Design” fair, which opened with a homage to Alessandro Mendini, irreplaceable collaborator and mourned friend, whose last contribution for the Committee, “Lace Tree” was shown, alongside other works.
      Lace created to designs by Michele De Lucchi, Terry Dwan, Martino Gamper, Ugo La Pietra, Lombardini22 and Nanda Vigo were presented here.
      The participation in this year’s “Lace and Design” event of so many prestigious protagonists of international design is something to be proud of for the Committee and all the lace-makers who contribute with skill and passion to the creation of fantastic works.
      The designers’ projects were interpreted on pattern cards by draughtswomen and pattern prickers under the supervision of the authors themselves. The thinking hands of the lace-makers then gave creative form to the works, showing once again how this enchanting art is able to embody a dialogue between tradition and modernity, between an idea and its realization.
      The project Lace and Design arose from the will of the Lace Promotion Committee with the purpose of finding a new vocation for hand-made lace, outside the logic of serial production. To this end it promoted the creation of designer lace, one-off pieces which are the expression of the most advanced design, the fruit of the encounter between the creative flair of important designers and the technical skill of the lace-makers from the schools which collaborated.
      Each of the designs may be realized in nine exemplars, ‘designer multiples’, with the aim of opening up a new field in artistic collection.
      The designers participating in the events prior to 2019 are: Andrea Branzi, Anna Gili, Ugo La Pietra, Alessandro Mendini, Angela Missoni, Luca Scacchetti, Thessy Schoenholzer Nichols, and Patricia Urquiola.

      Photo: Progetto "Duomo", Lombardini 22

      Michele De Lucchi 
      His professional work has always gone hand in hand with a personal exploration of architecture, design, technology, and craftsmanship. The selections of his products are exhibited in the most important design museums in Europe, the United States and Japan.

      delucchiMontagna di Sassi

      Terry Dwan
      Terry founded Dwan Studio in 1991, dedicated mainly to architecture and interior design. She has worked intensively in Switzerland, Japan, Germany and Italy, winning numerous international prizes and competitions. Dwan continues to work both in the field of architecture and design, and some of her works are exhibited in the permanent collection of the Design Museum at the Triennale in Milan.

      dwanFossili sfuocati

      Martino Gamper 
      Working between art and design, Martino Gamper engages in various projects from exhibition design to interior design, single orders and serial product design for the vanguard of the international furnishing sector: Gamper presented his works and his projects in numerous international exhibitions.

      gamperSedie su paraveno

      Ugo La Pietra
      Ugo La Pietra is to be counted among the greatest contemporary Italian architects, designers and artists. A multifaceted personality, active since the ‘50s, he has ranged through various currents, without ever allowing himself to be labeled, to the point of calling himself a "researcher in the visual arts". The central point of his research, conducted through the most disparate methods and fields, is the relationship between the individual and the environment.

      lapietraSottocoppa urbana

      With the commitment and passion of the Architect Matteo Noto and the engineer Viola Cambiè, Lombardini22 designed "Cathedral" project for a lace inspired by the infinite knot of Leonardo da Vinci, for the 500th anniversary of the death of the Tuscan genius. The development of the idea makes use of the most innovative design techniques applied to digital, as well as the prototyping of the work with 3D printing. The bobbin lace will be placed at the splendid crown of the roof.


      Alessandro Mendini 
      Alessandro Mendini is one of the greatest contemporary Italian architects, designers and artists. His contribution to the renewal of Italian design since the late 1970s was remarkable. From 1989, when the Atelier Mendini opened in Milan, he worked with his brother Francesco, also an architect. Parallel to the activity of the designer, which led him to collaborate with important companies, he also devoted himself to publishing, becoming director of the Domus magazine.

      mendiniLace Tree

      Nanda Vigo
      Nanda Vigo lives and works between Milan and East Africa. She shows interest in art from an early age and in 1959 he opened his own studio in Milan. From that moment the essential theme of her art becomes the conflict/harmony between light and space, which the artist uses in her work, even as an architect or designer.

      vigoChronotopic look

      For specific requests contact:
      Ph. +39 348 2215068
      e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    • microcosmo2019 ita


      Villa Calvi, via Roma, 8 - Cantù

      From Tuesday to Sunday 9.30-12.30 e 14.30-18.30

      Inside Corte San Rocco, the protagonists will be the new creations made by the lacemakers who are involved in the production of small precious artefacts that interpret the search for new representations of lace. The theme proposed for the "microcosm" is indeed dedicated to modernity. Small works to best express the contemporary world to the imagination of a future through precious points and seductive yarns. Tiny works, to arouse harmony and desire, which expresses the concept of a culture of the present. The lacemakers were asked to give shape to the personal conception of a lace with a contemporary taste.

      Requirements for participation • The lace can be of single lacemaker or made as collective works by groups, schools, associations, etc. • The lace may have different shapes, within the limited dimensions of 5 to 10 cm. (e.g. rectangular, round, square, etc.). but of high value (for the refinement of the stitches, fineness of the yarns, originality of the project). • The yarns can be either in the traditional types by yarn count and color: white, ecru, colored yarns; cotton, linen, silk yarns, or in any case suitable for making lace, without excluding metallic and innovative ones. • The artifacts must have: the title, a brief description of the creative idea that inspired the realization, pattern and lace. • The lace should not be framed or three-dimensional.

      Your lace must be shipped or delivered by June 15th, 2019. Some creations will be selected and published in the catalog of the 14th International Lace Biennial.

       Download Microcosm Form 2019

      nelmondodelmerletto 2019

      Nel Mondo del Merletto, Cantù, 2017, cm 10x10, progetto e realizzazione di Graziella Cincotto.

      For specific requests contact:
      Ph. +39 348 2215068
      e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    • fioreinfiore

      Fare il merletto con cura 
      Contemporary Production of Schools, Associations and Amateur lace groups

      Villa Calvi, via Roma, 8 - Cantù

      From Tuesday to Sunday 9.30-12.30 e 14.30-18.30

      It is surprising to see how many lace schools have been born in the last few years! A little everywhere, in the most disparate places, with pupils of all ages and from all backgrounds, with many different stories behind them. What is the secret? One wish: to make lace. As a hobby, for the pleasure of creating something with your own hands, for the charm of beauty, and for the opportunity to confront other women, sharing the urge to improve and talk about a common passion: lace.

      Like every edition, inside Villa Calvi, a path will be created dedicated to the works carried out during the last two years (2018-2019) by the skilled hands of lacemakers attending amateur courses.

      To participate, each School or Association must complete the form, downloadable below. Please send it filled out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a photograph attached and an A4 copy, even partial, of the lace.

       Download descriptive form for lace display

      filoinfiore 2019

      Filoinfiore, Cantù, 2005, cm 11,5 x 11,5, progetto Mariangela Cappelletti, merlettaia Ada Arnaboldi.

      For specific requests contact:
      Ph. +39 348 2215068
      e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    • creativita

      18th-19th-20th October

      Corte San Rocco, via Matteotti, 39 - Cantù

      Friday 18th  10.00 – 18.30  h 17.30 Welcome Greeting
      Saturday 19th   9.00 – 18.30 Sunday 20th  9.00 – 18.30

      The Festival of Creativity through the participation of artists, artisans and craftsmen will be, in addition to an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas between creatives, an Exhibition Market. The event aims to combine cultural aspects of great relevance regarding artisan works linked above all to female creativity and commercial aspects related to materials for the production of handicrafts.

      Exhibitors from different national and international realities will participate in the exhibition, whose common thread is precisely artisan creativity. The protagonists will exhibit their works or materials on their own structures or will be able, upon request and booking, to find spaces equipped within the exhibition environment.

      The public will be able to find a specialized offer of products related to the production of bobbin lace and embroidery: yarns, equipment, patterns and anything else necessary for these processes.

       Download Form for Companies

       Download Form for  School, Associations and Hamateur

      For those interested in participating, please contact us:
      Ph. +39 348 2215068
      e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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