- Before 1950, traditional folk Slovak trading provided Slovaks going abroad with a wide range of intensive contacts. Lace making was concentrated mainly in mining and workers' villages in central Slovakia and in the Zvolen area. Trading in lace is first noted in the first half of the 17th century. According to sources from the second half of the 18th century, serfs from this area traded in laces and small fancy goods in Vojvodina, Croatia, Slavonia, and Transylvania. They also traveled through Austria and Italy.
Some female traders spent their summers in Rijeka and in large towns in Dalmatia, from where they traveled to surrounding areas, or where they set up small stalls. There is evidence that they used to sell their goods in the marketplaces of Budapest and other big cities during the summer.
An employment hierarchy was created here too. Gazdovia (masters) purchased goods and hired people to sell them. According to sources, up to 130 individual lace makers/businessmen operated in this area in the second half of the 18th century, buying merchandise from factories and shops in Vienna and Moravia.(18)
Information from observers of that time provides evidence of a close relationship between lace makers and Vienna. One of these articles states that lace makers "do a big business in more- expensive goods and large volumes of textiles [I hope I understood this right], so that individual lace makers spend up to 10,000 gold coins per year for silk materials in Vienna."(19) And that "The property of a lacemaker's home hardly amounts to several hundred gold coins, but his credit in Vienna amounts to several thousands."
According to labor information from the end of the 19th century, Viennese retailers enforced the prohibition on lace makers' trading in the city, however, wholesalers and factory owners obtained new permission for them, because without sales of the lace makers' goods, the businessmen's sales would suffer.(20)
All opinions my own
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