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2011/44/5 Mat, nanduti lace, cotton, maker unknown, Asuncion, Paraguay, 1977. Click to enlarge.

Nanduti (needle-weave) lace mat

This large and lacy mat was made using a needle-weave technique called nanduti, which has a long tradtion in Paraguay. It is characterised by a finely woven spider's web design, and used for a wide range of wall-hangings, tablecloths, neck collars, bedspreads, doyleys and mats. The technique originated in Spain and Portugal in the 1700s and is today most popularly practised in South America.

The nanduti mat forms part of an extensive collection of textiles, dress and needlework assembled from …


Object No.


Object Statement

Mat, nanduti lace, cotton, maker unknown, Asuncion, Paraguay, 1977

Physical Description

Mat, nanduti lace, cotton, maker unknown, Asuncion, Paraguay, 1977

Rectangular lace mat with an openwork pattern worked in needle-weave lace. The centre of the mat has a closely worked panel with two squares on either side, one with a four petalled flower and the other a wheel-like design. These two square motifs are repeated around the outside of the central panel, forming a deep border.


No marks.



221 mm



This lace mat was made in Asuncion, Paraguay in 1977.

The needle-weave lace mat was worked in nanduti, which is closely related to other wheel-based lace designs. These are distinguished by their geographical locations and include Tenerife lace from the Canary Islands, Spain's ruedas lace, sol lace from Brazil and tucuman lace from Argentina. Nanduti lace is from Paraguay.

Wheel-based laces like this are needle-woven over an array of freely arranged threads to make a distinctive type of lace which is now most commonly associated with South America. The wheel-based (ruedas) design originated in Spain and Portugal in the 1700s and was introduced to the Canary Islands and South American countries by the conquistadors and missionaries.



This needle-weave lace or nanduti lace mat was most probably collected by Mrs Helen Crocker during her 1977 visit to Asuncion, Paraguay. In a letter written by Helen to her son Peter from "Nick's Restaurant, Asuncion Paraguay", dated 29 May 1977, she says:

"We passed the village specialising in lace weaving called Nanduti - very spidery. I bought a couple of little pieces in Asuncion, but the really beautiful pieces are the large bedspreads and tablecloths - some dyed rotton, crude colours, but they all looked very gay hanging on fences outside the houses as we rushed past. Big, circular white cloths still on the loom like a gigantic spider web with green grass and forest background. There were gigantic black plastic covered heaps of cotton bales stacked at several road side bases. A tangled forest of eucalypts, jacarandahs (the wood is very handsome in furniture) and oranges and palms.".


Credit Line

Gift of Peter Crocker, 2011

Acquisition Date

11 July 2011

Cite this Object


Nanduti (needle-weave) lace mat 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 September 2021, <>


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