Idrija is known worldwide for its Idrija lace – a hand-made masterpiece that combines a lot of knowledge and beauty. A typical feature is a lace band – broad tape lace made by intertwining threads which forms a motif. The lacemaking in Idrija started over 300 years ago. In the past, lacemaking was an additional source of income for the miners’ families and nowadays it is a rich source of artistic creativity. Its universal value was recognised when Idrija Lace was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity with the joint nomination “Bobbin Lacemaking in Slovenia”. The lacemaking knowledge is preserved with the help of the Idrija Lace School. Each year, the main annual tourist event in Idrija – the Idrija Lace Festival – is dedicated to the presentation and promotion of lace.
In the countryside, handicraft was also an important source of income. Vojsko was home to nail makers and the people of Črni Vrh made wooden tubs, which were sold mainly to the nearby Vipava Valley, and woodenware.
Between 1900 and the 1960s, in Idrijske Krnice, charcoal was burned in charcoal piles. First, it was sold to Italy and later, it was used in the Idrija mine. Today, this tradition is kept alive through an annual tourist event.
Other trades that were present in the countryside were blacksmithing, weaving, rope making, and grist milling.