Lace Dictionary
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From Bobbin lace To Bridal


BOBBIN LACE. Made on a pillow or cushion by means of bobbins. A variety of interlacing or plaiting, but the term plaiting was dropped during the Sixteenth Century, when Barbara Uttmann (born 1514, died 1575) introduced bobbins into Germany. She is credited with having invented this method, although the claim is denied by those who believe that she learned the use of bobbins in France or Italy. Her work was adopted and prosecuted by the Flemish. In Venice as early as 1557 a book of patterns for bobbin laces was published. The French term for bobbin lace is dentelle au Fuseau. Italian a Piombini refers to weighted bobbins and Merletti a Fuselli bobbin lace. Bobbin lace is made upon pillows, the design being laid out by means of pins, around which the thread is drawn and interlaced. Before the use of pins, fine fishbones were used, hence the term bone lace. In the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries bobbin lace was known as torchon, beggar's lace, eternelle, fisherman's lace, guese, peasant lace, and point pecheur. It was made by the peasantry, and frequently made poorly; when the same sort of thing was made a little better, a little stronger, with raised plaited wheels and circles, or what are known as paddles, it is called Cluny; but with little or no relationship between the ancient Cluny guipure and modern Cluny.

bobbin lace, belgium guipure 1720

BOBBINET. The net made by the bobbin as distinguished from the needle. Modern bobbinet is a machine imitation. There are several forms of net. See Nets.

BOHEMIAN. A term applied distinctively to the kind of bobbin lace made in Bohemia under government auspices in imitation of old Italian bobbin lace. The distinguishing features are the tapelike designs. BONE LACE. Old Italian documents, especially one of 1493, an inventory in the Sforza family, referred continually to bone lace, and bone lace in after years was understood to be lace made on a cushion with bone bobbins and pins. BONNAZ. The name of a sewing machine which conveys a chain stitch to the mesh in producing lace, usually curtain lace. Braid appliqued curtains are sometimes called Bonnaz curtains, but the term is a misnomer, as braided curtains are also made with other than Bonnaz machines.

BONNE FEMME. A style of lace curtain having a flounced scalloped bottom.

BRAIDED. Braided lace curtains, sometimes called Bonnaz curtains, consist of a bobbinet ground on which a pattern of tape is appliqued by the use of the Bonnaz or kurbel embroidery machine.

BRABANCON. See Brussels.From Braban an Belgium region

BRANCHING FIBERS. Fibers or veins introduced into leaf forms in some bobbin laces, Honitons especially.

BRAZILIAN. A bobbin lace of coarse texture and feeble design, used only amongst the natives. It resembles the bobbin laces of Europe in a slight degree, the patterns being in the style of the Valenciennes and Torchons, but is far inferior in wear, as Brazilian lace is made with cotton thread. Maceio, in the province of Alagoas, was the chief centre middle of the nineteenth century

BRIDAL. This is frequently mentioned in records of Elizabethan times, and seems to have been made of blue thread, being worn by the guests at a wedding rather than by the bride herself. Bridal lace was made at Coventry until the Puritans discountenanced the wearing of such gauds.