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Lace Embroidery

Whereas making delicate lace by hand is tedious, time consuming work that will make you feel as though you are losing your eyesight with each stitch, creating lace embroidery via your embroidery machine can be fun, exciting and best of all turn out an amazing product.  Of course lace making reached its highest demand in the 18th century when just about every woman wore lace regardless of her public standing. For a good while there, every country had its lacemaking center especially Italy, Belgium and of course France. By prohibiting imported lace, even England had its lace embroidery makers who worked very diligently to supply their aristocracy in lace! Research will turn up that even soldiers wore lace cravats (men’s ties) then and lacking a tie pin, they used their shirt buttons to hold down their lace cravats, lest they damage the fine lace.

Even today, hand lace embroidery is extremely expensive. A trip to France’s Alençon for example will turn up that a square inch of fine handmade lace will cost you approximately $1,500 American dollars! Granted it is so fine that one needs an eyeglass to see the individual threads in it, but such work is rare today! These “true” lace creations sometimes take years to make, and if you wish you may learn the difference between netting lace, needle lace and bobbin lace, all of which have to do with how it is created.

Then there is also cutwork. In cutwork, what happens is that actual threads are being removed from a woven background. Those removed threads, when done by hand, are then used to wrap or fill with embroidery. Our embroidery machines of today are able to do this kind of work, and the results are positively awesome!

Those who seriously wish to learn more about lace embroidery can join a great number of groups who have lace devotees. If you wish to join, merely do a “search” in your favorite search engine for groups such as, The Embroider’s Guild of America, Golden Bobbins, Handweavers Guild of America, or The Lace Guild, which is located in Britain.

It is staggering to know that they currently have over 5,000 members scattered throughout the world. The Lace Guild will even assess the proficiency of any individual who makes lace. Those in the guild are very serious about lace embroidery and you’ll find them exceedingly helpful if you desire additional information about lace making for there are hundreds of different types of lace!

Machine lace is certainly not new, as the first lace machine came out in the 1700’s! In fact the first patent for a lace machine was taken out all the way back in 1808 and was held by a John Heathcoat. It used a tambour chain stitch also known as simply a needle stitch.

Of course, once machinery was used to manufacturer lace, demand for lace quickened, and what’s interesting is that lace is still in high demand today. Fashions have changed, but ladies still love lace for the feminine beauty attributed to it.

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