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93/27/2 Border trim, bobbin lace style, linen / cotton, maker unknown, Italy, 1601-1635. Click to enlarge.

Bobbin lace border trim from Italy

Made
This bobbin lace border is made of quite coarse cream-coloured thread and was probably used to trim domestic linen, rather than clothing in the early 1600s. Possibly Italian it is made of a blend of cotton and linen (verified by SEM analysis). Although it shows more sophisticated design and workmanship than the simple seaming laces of the previous century, the border uses the same continuous bobbin lace technique in which pattern and ground are worked together with the one set of threads, so that the wider the lace the more threads are used. It is generally acknowledged that the earliest bobbin laces were worked by this method.

Both bobbin and needle lace for fashion rather than domestic use became powerful status symbols from the mid 1500s as wealthy men and women strived to draw attention to their fine linen undershirts and chemises with increasingly elaborate lace trimmings. The demand for lace to trim domestic textiles also increased in this period.

See Classification System page 10 (http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/pdf/research/classification.pdf )
and Glossary page 6. (http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/pdf/research/glossary.pdf)

Rosemary Shepherd - March 2010

Summary

Object No.

93/27/2

Object Statement

Border trim, bobbin lace style, linen / cotton, maker unknown, Italy, 1601-1635

Physical Description

Lace border, bobbin lace, linen-cotton blend, maker unknown, Italy, early 1600s

This border is made of quite coarse cream-coloured thread. It has a band of openwork circles along the footside and deep scallops alternating with very shallow scallops along the headside. The deep scallops are formed with cloth stitch trails and plaiting (with two or more pairs). The shallow scallop has at its base a wide area of cloth stitch, relieved with three rectangles of mesh, and is decorated at the headside with a small plaited scallop, the central point of which is linked to the larger scallops with a plaited line which appears to be continuous along the whole length of the border.

Dimensions

Width

105 mm

Depth

385 mm

Production

Made

Notes

SEM Analysis by Angharad Rixon in 2001 confirms that the thread is a linen-cotton blend, 2ply, Z spun and S plyed.
The bobbin lace uses the continuous technique in which pattern and ground are worked together with the one set of threads, so that the wider the lace the more threads are used. Stitches used are plaiting and cloth stitch with picots and twisted bars.
The following laces were subjected to SEM analysis by Angharad Rixon in 2001: 24 laces in all

91/2064
93/27/1
93/27/2
93/27/3
93/27/4
93/27/5
93/27/6
93/27/7
93/27/8
A8960
A8961
A9148 -4
A9148-9/1
A9148-10
A9148-11
A9148-14a
A924814b
A9148-15
A9148-16
H3771
H3891
H5111-80
H5111- 81
H6419

History

Notes

Borders of this type were probably used on household linen.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1993

Acquisition Date

15 February 1993

Cite this Object

Harvard

Bobbin lace border trim from Italy 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 1 March 2021, <https://ma.as/132842>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/132842 |title=Bobbin lace border trim from Italy |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=1 March 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}