Inspired! – All About Lace

If you’re like me, you are immediately drawn to anything that is made out of lace. There’s a specific type of beauty that lace offers over any other fabric. As a girl, I can see why lace has been around for so long adorning the wardrobes of women.

In this interest, I did a little research about what lace really is. This is what I found:

The Wikipedia definition (yes, I know, very reliable, right?) of lace is:

Lace is an openwork fabric, patterned with open holes in the work, made by machine or by hand. The holes can be formed via removal of threads or cloth from a previously woven fabric, but more often open spaces are created as part of the lace fabric. Lace-making is an ancient craft. True lace was not made until the late 15th and early 16th centuries. A true lace is created when a thread is looped, twisted or braided to other threads independently from a backing fabric.

It’s quite interesting to me that the significance of lace is actually in it’s lack of material and threading. We all know that lace is delicate and threadbare, and truly, that’s what makes it so special.

So, now that we know why lace is actually lace, what kinds of lace are there, anyway?

Each type of lace is categorized by how it’s made. I really don’t understand the different processes myself, so I’ll spare you the gory details. Essentially, there is bobbin lace, made on a pillow with small bobbins (since you’re probably, like me, and have no clue what a bobbin is, we have an image to help)

As you can see, these types of lace tend to be more sturdy, with larger spaces separating the fabric, and thicker patterns in the lace itself:

Cutwork lace is made like it’s name suggests, from cutting away/removing threads from a woven background. The remaining threads are then embroidered on.

These patterns are generally very large and take on a very specific shape. It is also often seen on linens such as handkerchiefs, table cloths, etc.

Next we have knotted lace. Again its all in the name. A definition I found was that it is created by macrame and tatting. For this, I’ll simply insert a photo.

Lastly, we have needle lace. This is the most delicate, complex, and actually the most flexible of the kinds of lace. Many think of this as being the ultimate in lace-making. Many antique laces were made in this fashion, and often, the very very thin thread that was used to make it just isn’t manufactured anymore, which is why vintage lace is so pricey!

This extremely gorgeous lace is really my favorite type. It is beautiful and delicate, and exactly what comes to my mind when I think of the term “lace”

…. I guess we all have expensive taste when it comes down to it.

So, whether you just think lace is pretty, you can create it yourself, or perhaps you’re even a collector of great lace, I personally think it to be one of the most intriguing and beautiful fabrics ever. I even shudder at calling it a fabric, because really, it’s more than that. Anyhow, again, I’m no professional, but I hope this was at least a little enlightening, as it was for me!

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Posted on March 15, 2011, in Don'tcha know, Fashion, Inspiration, Styling, You thought you knew. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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