The Association I merletti di Antonilla Cantelli speaks

AssociationsName and address
Name: I merletti di Antonilla Cantelli
Address: Via Larghe 35, 40010 Bentivoglio (Bo)
tel. +39 333 4607490
+39 340 2230592
+39 051 891000


Which techniques are you focused on?
Aemilia Ars needle lace.

When and how was the Association born?
The association was born in 2004 when Antonilla Cantelli (1914-2008) was still alive. First of all we wanted to pay homage to our teacher, who had continued such a great tradition on her own.
Originally the association gathered Antonilla Cantelli’s pupils who had followed her classes and suggestions for years.

Antonilla Cantelli in San Francesco Church, Bologna 2004


How many members do you have now?
About 30.

What is your mission?
We spread what was taught to us: the technique and the drawings.
We study the history of the cultural background and the biography of people who were involved.
We also project and write manuals, we collect and publish drawings.
We organize conferences and exhibits; we participate to fairs and meetings around Italy.

Do you give classes and workshops?
Yes of course, depending on the requests.

Who are your students?
Enthusiastic people keen to learn the origins of the technique. Antonilla Cantelli had contacts with the historical Society, absorbed the style and worked following a specific method.
Some of our students are already good embroiderers and wish to improve their culture and ability. They come from all around Italy and we could say they come even from abroad, as our manuals arrived very far away.

A student working

How is your relationship with the local context?
Aemilia Ars was deeply tied to artistic handcraft of Bologna and of the whole Aemilia (the Roman Emilia region) as it was: first as the historic Society (1898-1903), then as the Società Anonima Cooperativa (1903-1935).
Our purpose is to consciously follow our roots.
We also visit museums and collections and try to find new original works and drawings.

Are you working on new projects for the next few months?
We are constantly working on new laces, sometimes together with our students. Small hems, monograms, doilies, decorated boxes, paperweights, bed sheets, tablecloths and curtains.

How can we follow you?
Mainly on our Facebook page I merletti di Antonilla Cantelli.
We also have a website:

These are our publications:

Can we see some pictures of your works?