The Pettersson family
In 1800, a family that was to become very important to the local lace-making industry, arrived at Östra Hoby.
A story about a soldier returning from Pomerania...
It was the soldier Mats Pettersson who was returning from Pomerania with his Bohemian wife Margareta, daughters Anna and Hanna and Margareta’s son from a previous marriage, Jacob Ernst. All the children and Margareta Peters (1763–1820)were lace-makers. They did not, however, use the traditional “cushion” and coarseyarn, the odd pin and no pattern.
Instead, the Pettersson family introduced novelties such as the lace-making box, paper patterns, pins and fine, machine-spun yarn.
Other lace-makers became curious
Naturally, the local lace-makers became curious and were inspired by these new ideas. The Pettersson family used pricked paper patterns, and at first the local lace-makers were sceptical. This may have been due to the fact that the Petterssons were reluctant to share their secrets. But the local ladies studied their work and adapted the patterns to suit their own freehand technique. The lace-making box, however, was soon widely used.
Designed patterns according to the customers’ specifications
The Petterssons designed their patters according to the customers’ specifications. They began to use motifs taken from local embroidery patterns, and they were asked to make lace for the local farmers’ embroidered Sunday best. They are most often seen on head-shawls and as edging on the bride-grooms’ shirt collars.
The motifs include stylised tulips, stars and hearts, on their own or in groupsdivided by a border. The Petterssons produced two types of lace, one finer, madeof machine spun flax, and one more rustic made of a coarser yarn. It is likely that Countess Sophie Ehrensvärd (1761-1832) was one of their customers.
The Petterssons moved to Valleberga
The Petterssons moved to Valleberga in 1819 when Jacob began to teach there. Jacob was a lace-maker too, the Skolemästartaggen (school master edging) pattern was named after him. We do not know, however, if he made lace to sell.
Margareta Peters’ eye-sight grew poor in her old age, which we can see from her easily recognisable late work. She died soon after moving to Valleberga, but her children continued to make lace and to develop their own style.
The new lace making box was here to stay. When Margareta Peters died in 1821, her box was included in her estate inventory, and the following year when another lace maker died, her box was also included in her inventory.