C18th lace

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Annie the Pedlar
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C18th lace

Post by Annie the Pedlar »

Could some kind lace guru give me a quick lesson in the history of lace.
I've got Tudors had needlepoint lace. Bobbin lace came in later. When?

More to the point, what styles/patterns/techniques were available to a. Lords and Ladies, b. @the middle classes' in 1745?

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Post by Tuppence »

Have had a (very quick) look, and although I can't find anything about the first use of bobbin lace, it was definitely known in the 16th century:

1578 "james Backhouse, of Kirby in Lonsdale. Bobbin lace, 6s. per ounce."

1597 "John Farbeck of Durham. In ye Shoppe, 4oz. & half of Bobbing lace, 6s. 4d."

Also in Royal inventories of late 16th/early 17th cent.s

All info is from the 'lace bible', "History of Lace", by Mrs Bury Palliser. The reprint of the fourt edition is printed by Dover (ISBN 0-486-24742-2).

Point lace and bobbin lace were both used in the 18th c, but to list the types would take ages, as virtually every town in Europe seems to have had its own type of lace, subtly different to all the others. It's probably true that the plainer and simpler ones, and the bobbin laces would have been available to the middle classes, and the fancier, more work intensive ones (incl points) to the more wealthy. (Obv. bobbon lace is really quite quick to make, as opposed to point laces, made with needle and thread that could take weeks to make a decent sized piece.)

The V&a textile study room is also worth a look if you can spare the time.

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Post by malias »

my mother-in-law & sister-in-law make and teach others how to make traditional english lace.

If they are in agreement I will let you have their number if required.

PM me if you still need info..

all the best

Andy

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Annie the Pedlar
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Post by Annie the Pedlar »

Thanks Tuppence and Shadowcat. Its all very helpful. This particular job can't afford to pay for my R&D ie train fare to London or buying a book so I praise your knowledgable brains. You might be the cheap option but glow in the thought that you are keeping our taxes down and educating the nation's little ones. (Its to do with making costumes for children to dress in when they visit a museum.)
I must memorise those 1500 references. I shall get perverse delight in flashing them at the Kentwell Costume Gestapo next time we argue about lace (wicked laughter).

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Post by Tod »

Hi
Give the Buckinhamshire County Museum in Aylesbury a ring as they have lots of records regarding lace making, or I believe there is a lace museum in Onley (Bucks).
And no it's not any thing to do with Lace Wars (some one was bound to ask).

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Annie the Pedlar
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Post by Annie the Pedlar »

Thanks Malias and Tod,
One of you lovely people on this forum has emailed me some pictures. I've now got a good idea of what I'm looking for and shouldn't make too big a faux pas.

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Alice the Huswyf
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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Annie: have you thought of talking to The Lace Guild - friend used to work for them years ago - they were based in Stourbridge, West Mids and held details, histories, samples etc. I'll see if there is a website......

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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Deleted as I said it twice! See post below.
Last edited by Alice the Huswyf on Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

AHAHAHAHAAAHA! And it is still there.......




The Lace Guild
The Hollies
53 Audnam
Stourbridge
DY8 4AE
West Midlands
England


Collection details
Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art

Contact details
General information (Tel) : 01384 390739
General information (Fax) : 01384 444415
E-mail : hollies@laceguild.org
Website : www.laceguild.demon.co.uk

Description
The Lace Guild is the largest organization for lacemakers in the British Isles, and our membership is international. Our aims are to provide information about the craft of lacemaking, its history and use; to promote a high standard of lacemaking; and to encourage design, development and professional presentation of lace. We do this through our magazine, ‘Lace’, the books we publish, the courses we run, our assessment scheme, and a periodic major competition and exhibition. The Lace Guild has probably the most comprehensive lace library in the world, and our collection of lace and lace-related items has been recognized by the award of registered museum status.

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Tuppence
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Post by Tuppence »

Just realized, I forgot about the hoiton lace shop - they sell antique lace with pics online, and have several C18th bits at the mo. (pics online) http://www.honitonlace.com/ (there's also a link to a museums lace exhibition - pics not terribly detailed)

As (a large) aside - on the C16th front, have had a bit more of a look, and it seems that bobbin lace and bone lace were more or less the same thing, except that bobbin lace was coarser (bone lace used things like fish and chicken bones as 'bobbins', and as they were smaller, the work was finer).

Apparently, bone lace is referred to in the 16th C far more commonly than bobbin lace, including in the royal wardrobe accounts - "a petticoat of cloth of gold stayned black and white, with a bone lace of gold and spangles, like the waves of the sea" - a gift from Lady Paget to Eliz I. And from Shakespeare,
"The spinsters and the knitters in the sun,
And the free maids that weave their threads with bone." Twelfth Night.

And there's a pice of bobbin insertion lace on the above site dated to 16th century.

Debs

PS The book might wel be available from a decent library, as that's where I always used to use it before the re-print.

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Post by frances »

Annie, theatre people tend to use Victorian net with embroidery as the sleeve flounces. This is incorrect as the flounces were mostly whitework - muslin with white emboidery. Only the very richest children are likely to sport real bone lace flounces. Real lace was used for head-dresses in the 18th century and the patterns tended to reflect those on the dress brocades, particularly later on. Marie Antoinette had the first lace dress, I recall, and this took her lace women 4 years to make. No kiddie charging around the fields would ever have had one of these. Mostly their sleeve flounces would be plain muslin and their caps plain muslin, maybe with a tiny lace trim or a whitework back.

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Post by Annie the Pedlar »

I was trying not to get too interested in the history of lace as it seems a big subject, but I think I'm failing. Its really interesting......bone lace eh. I hadn't heard it called that before.....

Hi Frances, thanks - I'm thinking .....the lace is destined for a Viscountess, the whitework for a 'middle class' family, (there's definatley something on their portraits), their servants will have plain linen frills and there's a poor raggedy family that are getting plain edges to their sleeves.

Here's another question.
I am assuming servants would be dressed to reflect the status of their master/mistress. A step down on the finary ladder to their master.
Am I right?

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Post by Shadowcat »

Absolutely. Some servants also in cast-offs of the Master/Mistress, depending on money, position etc. There's a good book on 18th century clothing by Anne Buck - will get back with the title - goes through each "rank" of 18th century society and what they wore and where it came from. Also a book on "Occupational Costume" by Phillis Cunningotn (correct spelling.)

(Needless to say these, and many others, including several on the history of lace, are in my library if you want a loan.)

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Post by frances »

As Shadowcat says - how do people know that you have pots of money, or aspirations to reach above your social class, or are trying to hook a v rich spouse if your house servants on show are all looking dowdy or old-fashioned?

Is it just a myth that house servants wore pale blue does anyone know?

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18thC lacemaking

Post by David Dorgan »

Hi Annie

The following is the website for Onley Lace Museum. It's excellent and I tell people about the flash stool and firepot as well as telling them about the different bobbins and laces, using a page from one of the Lace magazines which shows 18thC lace through the century.

http://www.mkheritage.co.uk/cnm/lace/index.html

Just to give the men a little bit of interest too I have an example of regimental lace too.

Dave's wife Pat
Dave

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tailordrews
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bobbin lace

Post by tailordrews »

Hi,
I was taught by Baumeister Jonker who taught me to make Chantilly Lace, that the first written source for bobbin lace is a letter of the Borghese family in Italy written in 1497. The lace was made with 8 pairs of bobbins.
Baumeister Jonker is a very clever lace teacher. I was so fortunate to have her by myself for 3 days where she teached me the teckniques of the fine Chantilly laces wich are made in silk.
I make lace, embroidery and costumes. This is my passion in life
Sorry for being late with the question, but i just jouined the forum today.

Tailordrews aka Bjarne in Denmark
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Re: bobbin lace

Post by Lena »

tailordrews wrote:Sorry for being late with the question, but i just jouined the forum today.

Tailordrews aka Bjarne in Denmark
Another h-costumer! Welcome!

/Lena

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tailordrews
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18th century lace

Post by tailordrews »

Hi, i didnt follow all the questions you had asked. If you really want genuine period lace, i am sure that there are a lot of english laces made like the famous brussels laces. In Denmark there was import prohibitions of flander laces to protect the danish lace makers. Iam sure you had the same thing in England. Denmark lacers made faux brabant and Binche laces, and also Malines laces. Of cause they were not as fine as the "real" thing, but still genuine 18th century bobbin lace. As i understand you had lace centers in the midlands and Buckinghamshire laces was made in huge amounts. Why not use a tulle ground lace, i know that tulle isnt period, but it surely is more afordable. The ones made in early 19th century looks very familiar to the real thing.
I myself even if i can make lace, dont use it on my costumes. The time it takes is very imposible. I use cotton machine made laces. I buy from a swedish girl who imports from a curtain factory in England.
The only lace i can make fairly qick is renaissance bobbin laces, small trims in black or white linen. I have some reproduced patterns from a royal burrial at Roskilde Cathedral.
Finally you also, as previous said can use embroidered white work on a fine linen or cotton. Swiss cotton would be ideal.
Does your "master of ceremonies" or whatever he is called (the one who goes trough your outfits to see if it is all right) really want you to use real lace? I find that very repellent.

Now i have to go back to my draping. I am draping the toille of a sack backed dress. The sleave fitting is teasing me............. :roll:

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Annie the Pedlar
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Post by Annie the Pedlar »

Hi Bjarne,
its a pleasure to welcome you.

I'm very good at confusing people.

I specialise in C16th things. Making costumes is one of them. I know of one group in England (The Tudor Group) who insist on completely handmade garments and try to be as authentic as is humanly possible and would probably insist on hand made lace.

I take part in a group (Kentwell) that likes to encourage newcomers so we are allowed to cheat and machine stitch anything that doesn't show but everything that is seen is encouraged to look right. We jokingly refer to our costume experts as the Costume police but on the whole they try to point out your mistakes in the nicest possible way and their suggestions are intended to help you improve not to plummet you into deep depression - which you can do if you have spent 3 months sewing your clothes!

The costumes I am making at the moment are for a museum, to be worn by visiting school children. Funds are limited so they will be dressing up quality, but because of my Kentwell training I would like to do my best to get them to look right.
As they are C18th, and out of my period, I was asking all the knowledgeable people out there for help. They have been very kind and sent me pictures of authentic lace and I have gone out to cutrain and charity shops to find patterns that look similar.

Then, being me, and terribly nosey, and being a pedlar, once someone starts telling me they were making this kind of lace here and it didn't arrive in England until whenever, I'm all ears and want to find out more.

I spend most of my life feeling very schizophrenic.

Does that make things clearer :lol:

Now, with my pedlar''s hat on, I can't stop myself from asking - do you know what Denmark was exporting to England in the C16th?
I know we had a lot of trade with Holland. Were you exporting to them?

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tailordrews
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Post by tailordrews »

:D Hi Annie the Peddlar,
Nice to meet you,
I must admit, that i have no idea about what Denmark exported to England, perhaps some grosery wares? I have never asked myself that question either. It could not have ben lace, because even there were laces made in Tønder in the south of Jutland of the time, it only started to export later in 17th. century.
I can understand that you want to do your best for this projekt, but money must be an obstacle. Isnt it expensive to buy laces?
I made a dress for a manorhouse last year. I made a dress after a big portrait, with a lady of the house wearing a french style court dress, 1756. But money was an obstacle, its´a poor museum, and i had a budget in all for about 600 pounds. And it is a dress made over a huge hoop so i had to buy a lot of taffeta. The sleaves were made of machine embroidered organza. Real sleaves were fine stiffened lawn embroidered all over. Real portrait fabric i could imagine would have ben a Spittalfields brocaded silk. And for these money i had, i would not have come far. It was an interresting projekt for me to do, but as you can imagine, not much for my own pocket :cry:
The taffeta was plain grey, as the dress is grey, but i got the right shape of the period, and that is the main thing.
You can se my finished dress exhibitted at the castle here:
http://www.my-drewscostumes.dk/estrup4.htm
There is more about it here:
http://www.my-drewscostumes.dk/estrup2.htm
And how i draped the dress:
http://www.my-drewscostumes.dk/estrup3.htm
Is there a chance we can se your projekt when it is finished? Would be very interresting to se!

Tailordrews
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On the eight day, god created costumes and reenactors!

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