Papal lace-makers now producing G-strings
Catholics in a Polish lace-making village that produces altar cloths and robes for priests - including the Pope - are in uproar after declining demand for their products led women to develop hot selling new product lines including sexy G-strings for international markets.
The Age reports that the radical adaptation of the traditional skills of the women of the southern mountain village of Koniakow has proved a huge success and online sales of items costing over $100 are soaring.
But the Catholic Church and other critics say the new products including tight little tops, pants, bras and G-strings, known as stringi, are bringing shame on a respectable craft.
Malgorzata Stanaszek, who set up Koni-Art underwear and is now supplying Japanese, American and European customers, said: "We weren't selling much lace, so we had to think of something. It wasn't one woman's idea, it was more like a collective idea."
However, Mieczylaw Kamieniarz, who runs the lace museum in Koniakow, says that "all of Koniakow is ashamed".
"We have made Koniakow lace for altar cloths, priests' robes, even the Pope himself. And now people are going to wear Koniakow lace on their bottoms."
But Mrs Stanaszek points out that the money from the new products is even helping fund the church.
"If we listened to everything the priest says, we wouldn't earn a penny," she concluded. "Anyway, he'll have to come to terms with it soon. The stringi are funding his contributions."
Polish knickers in a twist (The Age, 31/1/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Koniakow lace (Wikipedia)
31 Jan 2007