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93/27/5 Lace border, embroidered cutwork and bobbin lace, linen / silk, maker unknown, Italy / Flanders, 1575-1625. Click to enlarge.

Embroidered and bobbin lace border

Made
  • 1575-1625
This border is a geometric embroidered lace (cutwork) insertion with bobbin lace along one edge. It is probably Italian, from the late 1500s and from SEM analysis we know that the thread used for both kinds of lace is a linen-silk blend, which may account for its rich caramel colour and 'soft' feel. It would have been used on an item of clothing, possibly a ruff, or cuffs. Although it shows more sophisticated design and workmanship than the simple seaming laces of the previous century, the basic techniques remain the same. This kind of geometric cutwork is often called 'reticella'

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 pages 4 and 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.

93/27/5

Object Statement

Lace border, embroidered cutwork and bobbin lace, linen / silk, maker unknown, Italy / Flanders, 1575-1625

Physical Description

Ecru coloured lace border, consisting of an embroidered (cutwork) band with a bobbin lace edging, both sections made of a linen-silk blend.

The cutwork band consists of a wide central panel with a narrow band along each edge. The wide band has a design of circles overlaid with four-pointed stars, alternating with semi-circular versions of the same motif. Each section has a roughly square framework formed by threads of the base fabric, supported by additional diagonal threads. The motifs are mostly worked in corded simple buttonhole stitch and ornamented with picots. The narrow edge bands are made up of opposing semi-circular bars divided by remaining threads of the base fabric.

The plaited bobbin lace edging is made up of a straight edged band of diamond shapes with the addition of deep headside points. Most elements of the design are plaited, but some lines worked as narrow cloth-and twist trails and a square of cloth stitch separates each pattern repeat.

Dimensions

Width

90 mm

Depth

820 mm

Production

Made

  • 1575-1625

Possibly made

Possibly made

Notes

From SEM analysis we know that both sections of this lace are worked in a blend of linen and silk, Z spun and 2-S plyed.

Each section of the cutwork band has a roughly square framework formed by threads of the base fabric, supported by additional diagonal threads. The motifs are mostly worked in corded simple buttonhole stitch and ornamented with picots. The narrow edge bands are made up of opposing semi-circular bars divided by remaining threads of the base fabric.

Most elements of the bobbin lace edging design are plaited, but some lines are worked as narrow cloth-and twist trails and a square of cloth stitch separates each pattern repeat. The lace uses the 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.

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

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1993

Acquisition Date

15 February 1993

Cite this Object

Harvard

Embroidered and bobbin lace border 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 1 March 2021, <https://ma.as/132845>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/132845 |title=Embroidered and bobbin lace border |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=1 March 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}