Lace made its appearance in Gruyère just a century ago. This activity, promoted by shopkeepers and the local middle classes, was created to replace straw plaiting. A hundred years later, the tradition is still being maintained in the area.
The Gruyère lace makers now have access to well-practised expertise. However, the practice wasn't without setbacks, for in the early 1970s, the lace makers didn't want to reveal the secrets of their trade. At the time, they were working for the Bulle lace shop that has since gone, and practised their art for work purposes rather than for pleasure. Fortunately, Madame Marie-Thérèse Vial, "Presidente de l'association des Dentelles de Gruyère" (President of the Gruyère Lace Society), an enthusiast, made lace making more accessible and today, there are fifty or so enthusiasts keeping this fine Gruyère tradition alive.