The Artecer association has been gathering women from the local community for the past eight years to create and learn clothing. These women work with Singeleza Lace and are supported by Sebrae, a Brazilian support service for small businesses.

The lace originated most likely in Portugal. It is made using a needle, toothpick, and thread. Its history spans the 20th century. Jeane Valentim dos Santos learned how to make it from her grandmother Luzinete. She, in turn, learned from a Portuguese nanny, who arrived in Brazil following World War One.

It is a delicate fabric that can be used as a raw material or to embellish clothing. It is used in dresses, skirts and beachwear, and can also be used as decoration.

white knit textile on brown wooden surface

Jeane runs a small shop that sells the material in Alagoas. The majority of the collection consists of American games, napkin holders, and vase covers. There are also blouses, beachwear, and napkin holders. There are many stock options, including napkin holders, vase covers, blouses, and beachwear.

The artisans meet at the back of the house every day to chat and work. They believe that laughter and conversation are therapeutic, while their income from selling their products is financially independent. The lace could have changed their lives during the pandemic.

Transformation of the community through a material

The Sindivest-Alagoas Clothing Trade Union offers free classes in pattern making and sewing, in partnership with Sebrae. They are supported by the Federation of Industries of Algoas and Senai, a National Service for Industry.

The proposal goes even further. “The women of Paripueira harvest shellfish and are therefore out of work during low shellfish seasons.” So, we decided to teach them how lace is made,” said Francisco Acioli (president of Sindivest).

Sindivest will also purchase the products to stock the association’s stock. Acioli stated that it is a joint effort of Sindivest and Senai as well as the partnership with Sebrae.

This course provides fashion information and training to help you add value to your work. The course offers 15 loaned machines, which allow women to work and make an income.

Currently, there are only 10 women taking the courses. But the goal is for 60 women to work in the industry, including the shellfish harvesters. Acioli stated that they also plan to catalog the lace, create a book, and show people how it is made to preserve the tradition.

As a financial and emotional support, Lace is available

Cicera Rodrigues is one of the lace-makers, and has been living in Paripueira since 2005.

She felt isolated from her family as she moved to the United States with her husband and two children. This led her to become depressed. She enrolled in the course to learn how to make lace, and was able to overcome her sadness.

We were told that she had made a stock of lace and began selling it. After undergoing an operation, she was allowed to rest and began making lace again. This enabled her to achieve financial independence and improved her self-esteem.

Rodrigues is today a lace instructor. “I wish all women in Paripueira would believe in lace. But many don’t. This has allowed me to help my family and I have benefited greatly from coming here at night. I can’t leave and I want to organize myself to help Artecer grow. It has been my dream to work in fashion.”

Image: James Silver and Artecer

Rayane Lais Rose, 16, found a way to overcome the hardships of the pandemic through lace classes. She also discovered a way to access online sessions.

“I was suffering from anxiety and my aunt and uncle brought me Singeleza to help. Today, I can tell you that Singeleza has made a huge difference in my life. I am currently in my second year of secondary school. I feel calmer and more relaxed after the online sessions. They have given me more understanding and resourcefulness.” she says.

Rosineide Rosa, Rayane’s mother, has been making Singeleza since over 7 years. After a 4 month break, she returned back to lacemaking.

“I come in the afternoon or evening, and today I feel much better. Here we make the lace together while laughing and chatting. It makes me feel calmer.” Rosa says that what is most important at the moment for us is to be able sell and make more. It is an art form that is handcrafted, and should be appreciated as such.

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