THIS interesting postcard depicting a lacemaker at work in the central Slovak village of Poniky was released in 1911 by Pavol Socháň, one of the major Slovak postcard publishers.
The picture invites us to look back nearly a hundred years to the times when people did not enjoy the luxuries we take for granted today. Their lives were harder but at the same time they were more independent, being able to produce many objects of everyday use on their own and not having to purchase them.
As well as lacemaking, knitting and weaving were among the most widespread handcrafts, common among both men and women. They most often made gloves, stockings, and aprons and at the beginning of the 20th century, sweaters and scarves. As there were many people who produced such items for themselves and their families, knitting was not a very profitable craft. There was, however, an exception: slippers. Knitting slippers could provide a decent income because in several regions of Slovakia such as around Trenčín and Púchov, knitted slippers were the only type of footwear worn year-round.