Friday, April 20, 2012

Our Threaded Family Tree - Part I

The art of embroidery and needlework lies deep within our family's history. Despite the fact that our family heritage includes such striking differences in American settlers - such as Irish Immigrants, Italian printers and butchers, German aristocrats, and rebel soldiers in the Civil War - one thing seems to remain a general interest among many: embroidery and needlework.  Join us as we travel around the country, tracing a deep-rooted interest in sewing amidst a world of Indians, Immigrants, and convents, unknowingly paving the way for what is now known as, "Catholic Embroidery". 

Part I - From Convent to Continent
John and Carmelina Lania

As a young woman, Carmelina lived at a convent in Italy where she learned how to sew and embroider. In the early 1920's, the then married Carmelina and her husband John, immigrated to America with their 6 year old son, Vincent (Marks' uncle). John and Carmelina spent their lives in New Jersey raising a family and making a living in the garment making business. In their trade, Mr. and Mrs. Lania would "finish" garments by frogging them, finishing gowns, silks, etc. Mrs. Lania was known for making button covers by hand and embroidering pillows and a variety of other garments. 

Though the garment business of this early American entrepreneurial couple has long since been closed, the Lania Legacy still lives on today in the Serafino home. Mark's stories recall the happy years of his early childhood, where the Lania family treated him as a grandson and showered him with the best of Italian hospitality.

Mr. Lania with Mark as a child - Photograph Circa: 1960

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1 comment:

  1. Wow! How neat this has been in your family for so long and you are continuing the tradition. Little Mark is so cute!