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The Art Of Lace Process: From History To Modern Fashion

Who created Lace trims and when did it first appear? Although the ‘creation’ of lace cannot be pinpointed to a certain era, the first examples of what we now recognise as lace appeared in the early sixteenth century. Although open woven textiles and fine nets seem like embroidery laces have been around for ages, their methods did not contribute to those created for the classic European laces. Since the predominant meaning of the term lace was ties until far into the seventeenth century, early allusions to lace in English writings very probably relate to ties.

The Nüw Modelbuch, a book of bobbin lace patterns produced in Zurich in 1561, claims that lace was first introduced to Zurich from Italy in approximately 1536, which is consistent with the surviving visual evidence from the late fifteenth century of rudimentary plaited laces being used on clothing. Whether made with a single thread and a needle (needle lace) or many threads at once (multi-thread lace), lace is an openwork fabric that flourished in the second half of the sixteenth century (bobbin lace).

Bobbin Lace 

The origins of bobbin lace lie in the decorative braids and trimmings used to adorn clothing and home furnishings and crafted from a variety of threads, including colourful silks and silver-gilt. Needlestitch developed from three different types of embroidery:

  • Edges of collars and cuffs of shirts and smocks are often embellished with tiny loops and picots.
  • Seams that are open work, joining lengths of cloth; and
  • Cutwork. Initial forms of cutwork used ornate stitching inside narrow linen openings.

Elaborate geometric designs might be produced as the gaps became bigger, leaving just a grid of the initial threads (known as Reticella). True needleless lace emerged throughout time when foundation threads were couched on to a temporary backing, often parchment, in place of costly fabric cuts. Punto in Aria (stitches in the air) lace was created when designers started breaking out of the geometric shapes imposed by working inside cloth.

Faster to complete than needlelace, bobbin lace quickly had expert artisans mimicking needle lace patterns. Hundreds of pictures from the sixteenth and seventeenth century have exquisite examples of this kind of lacework.

Spread of Lace 

It is hard to pinpoint the exact location of lace’s inception due to its emergence from various methods. Yet, the word “lace” has long been connected with the city of Venice. Venice served as a hub for the dissemination of lace expertise in its early years since it was a major commerce centre and the location of the earliest recorded lace pattern books (Le Pompe in the 1550s). Women who were already skilled in other textile arts seemed to take up the new techniques quickly. And by 1600, high-quality lace was being manufactured in several locations throughout Europe, including Flanders, Spain, France, and England.

New styles spread quickly thanks to itinerant nobles and marriages between royal families, which led to the trading (and smuggling) of lace over national boundaries. As refugees, lacemakers who had to flee their homes because of political unrest sometimes settled in locations with a preexisting lacemaking culture, which they then helped to expand. And innovative producers of luxury apparel were always looking for new ways to strengthen their foothold in the market.

Dressmaking with Lace

Historically, lacemaking has been driven by the demands of the fashion industry. As the sixteenth century came to a close, ruffs and standing collars called for striking geometric needlelace. Softer collars, calling for several yards of relatively small linen bobbin lace, began to replace them in the early 1600s. Gold and silver lace were in high demand at the period.

Famous to decorate the edges of gloves, coats, and sashes, among all. By the middle of the seventeenth century, linen lace had once again been worn flat. And both needle and bobbin lace makers had perfected their abilities. Applicable to create some incredibly detailed work. This was including the raised needlelace known as Gros Point and the flowing shapes of Milanese bobbin lace.

In the eighteenth century, lace was often produced in exceedingly fine linen thread on more popular mesh grounds. And it grew increasingly delicate as a result. Items like cravat ends and lappets were worn to flaunt one’s money and exhibit one’s fine taste. And the market came to be dominated by French needle laces. Such as Argentan and Alençon and Flemish bobbin laces, Binche, Valenciennes, and Mechlin.

Laces for Apparel Industry 

Lacemaking in Britain underwent a dramatic transformation as a result of the industrial revolution. It wasn’t until 1809 that John Heathcoat was able to create a large net fabric that wouldn’t unravel when cut. The first machine lace was manufactured towards the tail end of the eighteenth century. Fabrics like Carrickmacross and Tambour (now categorised as decorative nets) were developed from this net. And were perfect for the airy gowns of the time. Entrepreneurs constantly improved the machines, first turning out patterned nets and later on, more complicated patterns.

Until by 1870, almost every sort of hand-made lace had its machine-made counterpart. Although the 1860s were a brief era when flamboyant laces like Bedfordshire, Cluny, and Yak. These were popular and could not yet be duplicated by machine. It became more difficult for lacemakers like those in the East Midlands to earn a livelihood from their labour. By 1900, the majority of England’s handmade lace industry had vanished. But a few groups remained to provide lacemakers with designs, instruction, and a market for their products.


Lace is a significant part of the fabric and textile industry. It has its own journey since its origin to the modern fashion world. From simple bobbin lace to the multiple and creative design lace Trim, lace has become an irreplaceable and one of most popular trims.  It is possible to create various laces with hues brown color fabric You can also add this amazing trim to your crafting work. To get the endless varieties of trim from embroidery lace to cotton lace, you can checkout the fabriclore for the latest collection of trims.

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