Maltese Traditional Crafts
Lace making is one of the local crafts considered one of the most precious of traditions. Lace was originally associated with nobility and a high valued commodity. Dating back to the Knights of st. John, the lace was used as a fashion accessory for nobles, used for gloves and on clothing. The Maltese produced fine lace developing the designs adding the Maltese eight pointed cross, making it unique Maltese lace. Lace making was a way of earning money for the Maltese and Gozitan women, one can
still find a few Gozitan women in the streets in the process of lace making. In Malta one can also visit Ta’Qali Crafts Village to see how lace is done and see this beautiful craft is still alive on display.
One of the oldest crafts in Malta which survived thousands of years dating back from the Arabs and weaving is still around to this day. Arabs had introduced the cotton plant together with the skills and expertise in Malta. Weaving became one of the main sources of income for local families all over Malta and Gozo. Every family had a weaving loom in those days and they made their own clothing and bedding they required. The weavers generally used natural fibres such as cotton, wool and silk to make
the weaved cloths, rugs and blankets. The craft of weaving today is still practised in Gozo and in Malta keeping the craft alive and ongoing.
Adding value to the Maltese heritage, the art of filigree consisting of threads of silver or gold woven together to create delicate motifs. The more intricate and ornate the design the more valuable the filigree is. Local artisans made the eight pointed cross a prominent motif incorporated with gemstones, gold or silver. Filigree is moving on to keep the craft alive by making filigree pieces into bracelets, earrings, brooches and many more.
Malta has a lot of farmhouses, townhouses and houses of character that keep all architectural characteristics, not to mention flooring too. The patterned tiles are made of cement infused with colour. The patterns have developed through the years, from the classical old to more geometrical shapes to meet the designs of modern taste. Modern technology has taken the space of the old but the traditional patterned tiles are still in demand.
Wicker, bamboo and reeds are popular materials for basket-making. Basketware is an old craft developed for fishing and agriculture. Natural wicker is known for its strength and durability. It used to be another way of earning a living for locals. Today one may also find wicker furniture to move on with today’s modern trends.