Lace Dictionary
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From Binche To Blonde

BINCHE. Binche Lace, or Guipure de Binche, made at a town in Hainault. The variety now executed is of the Brussels bobbin make. Flat sprigs wrought with the bobbins are afterwards appliqued on to machine-made net. The making of lace at this town began early in the seventeenth century, and the fabric produced was at one time a rival to the now more famous Brussels ; it was then, and until the end of the eighteenth century, called Guipure de Binche. The plait ground was never made: spider and rosette grounds were used together with the mesh patterns. It resembled old Valenciennes more than any other kind of lace. This is accounted for by the fact that Valenciennes, when lace was first made there, formed part of the ancient province of Hainault, and was only transferred to France by treaty and conquest at the end of the seventeenth century. It is almost impossible to distinguish Binche Lace from that made at the French centre.

BISETTE. A bobbin lace made during the seventeenth century in the villages in the neighbourhood of Paris. It was coarse and narrow as a rule, though there were three grades, of varying widths and quality. The peasant women who made it used it principally for ornamenting their own caps. Gold and silver thread laces were also called Bisette. These were sometimes further ornamented with thin plates of the metal

BLACK SILK. It would be extremely difficult to determine when the black silk lace industry was commenced. In the reign of Louis XV. in France the fabric wa's worn ; as early as the occasion of the marriage of Louis XIV. with the Infanta Marie Therese it is mentioned. At this time it was used over coloured brocade, and also as a trimming for the decolletage. Black silk guipure has never been very popular, though at the time when in the early Victorian Era Indian shawls were much worn in winter, black silk lace shawls replaced the warm material in summer, and the arrangement of the folds was considered a severe test of elegance. The shawl was worn folded, the two points nearly reaching the edge of the skirt at the back, and the front being fastened across with a shawl brooch or ornamental pin specially made for the purpose. Black silk lace is now made at Bayeux, at Chantilly, in Malta, and in Catalonia. Embroidered net lace work is extensively made in the prisons in Italy, machine-made black net being darned with silk in bold effective patterns. A coarse loosely-woven silk thread is used for the purpose BLANDFORD. Bobbin lace at one time famous in England.

BLONDE. Bobbin lace originally silk, in color cream or white. Later the term was applied to the silk type which was called blonde even when black. Black blonde made Chantilly famous. (See Caen.) Barcelona produced fine black or white blondes; so also Bayeux and Venice, and machine-made blondes are produced in Lyon. Blonde de Caen. A silk bobbin-made lace. It was about 1745 that the blonde laces, which have rendered Caen famous, first appeared ; both black and white flax thread laces had formerly been made in the neighbourhood. At first the blondes were of a creamy colour, hence the name nankins or blondes, the silk being imported from Nankin. Later improvements in the preparation of the silk made white blondes possible, and their lightness and brilliancy account for their popularity.

BLONDE DE FIL. See Mignonette.

BLONDE NET LACES. Bobbin lace with a fine network ground and heavy pattern. Blonde lace has a silk reseau resembling that for which the thread laces of Lille are celebrated, and the toile is worked with a broad, flat strand, which glistens effectively ; to this brightness blonde laces owe their popularity, for there is usually little artistic merit in their design. Such laces are made at Caen, Chantilly, Barcelona, and Catalonia, and they are more fully described under Blonde de Caen and Chantilly.