1902 Encyclopedia > Lace


LACE 1 is the name applied to an ornamental open work of threads of flax, cotton, silk, gold, or silver, and occasion-ally of mohair or aloe fibre. Such threads may be either looped or plaited or twisted together in one of three ways:— (1) with a needle, when the work is distinctively known as " needlepoint lace " ; (2) with bobbins, pins, and a pillow or cushion, when the work is known as " pillow lace"; and (3) by machinery, when imitations of both needlepoint and pillow lace patterns are produced.

History.—Special patterns for needlepoint and pillow laces date from the beginning of the 16th century. Before that period such works as might now be classified as laces consisted of small cords of plaited and twisted threads fastened in loops (or "purls") along the edges of costumes, of darning work done upon a net ground, and of drawn and cut embroidery. From these classes of earlier work lace is descended. Pillow lace can be distinctly traced up to the " nierletti a piombini" of the 16th century. At a very early period embroidery of geometrical patterns in coloured silk, etc., on a network of small square meshes was known and made throughout Europe. This in the 13th and 14th centuries was known in ecclesiastical circles as " opus filatorium " or " opus araneum " (spider work), and examples dating from the 13th century still exist in public collections. The productions of this art, which has some analogy to weaving, in the early part of the 16th century came to be known as " punto a maglia quadra " in Italy and as ''' lacis " in France—the patterns, stiff and geometrical, being sometimes cut out of linen or separately-sewed and applied to the meshed surface ; but more frequently they were darned in, the stitches being counted as in tapestry, and hence it was known as " point conte " or darned netting. With the development of the renaissance of art, free flowing patterns and figure subjects were in-troduced and worked in lacis.

Drawn and cut works were ancient forms of embroidery

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be of Spanish work are Flemish of the 17th century. The industry is not alluded to in Spanish ordinances of the 15th, 16th, or 17th centuries. Much Flemish lace was imported into Spain from Spanish Flanders. The black and white silk pillow laces, or " blondes," date from the 18th century. They were made in considerable quantity in the neighbourhood of Chantilly, and imported by Spain for mantillas. Although after the 18th century the making of silk laces has more or less ceased at Chantilly and the neighbourhood, the craft is now carried on in Nor-mandy—at Bayeux and Caen—as well as in Auvergne. Silk pillow lace making is carried on in Spain, especially at Barcelona. The patterns are almost entirely imitations from the French. Malta is noted for producing a thick pillow lace of black, white, and red threads, chiefly of geometric pattern, in which circles, wheels, and radiations of shapes resembling grains of wheat are a principal feature. This characteristic of design, appearing in laces of similar make which have been identified as Genoese pillow laces of the early 17th century, reappears in Spanish and Paraguayan work. Pillow lace in imitation of Maltese, Buckinghamshire, and Devonshire laces is made in Ceylon, and in different parts of India where attempts have been made to introduce European arts to native labour.

At present the chief sources of hand-made lace are Belgium, England, and France, but a successful effort has also been made to re-establish the industry in the island of Burano near Venice, and much fine work of good design is now (1882) made there. Bussian peasants in the districts of Vologda, Balakhua (Nijni-Novgorod), Bieleff (Tula), and Mzensk (Orel) make pillow laces of simple patterns. But by far the greatest amount of lace now made is that which issuesfrom machines in England andFrance. Thetotal number of persons employed in the lace industry in England in 1871 was 49,370 ; and according to official returns of the year 1873, 240,000 women were similarly employed in France.

The early history of the lace-making machine coincides with that of the stocking-frame, that machine having been adapted about the year 1768 for producing open-looped stitches, which had a net-like appearance. In the years 1808 and 1809 John Heath coat of Nottingham obtained patents for machines for making bobbin net, which form the real foundation of machine making of lace. These machines were improved on in 1813 by John Leavers, whose lace-making machines are in use at the present time. The application of the celebrated Jacquard apparatus to these net machines has enabled manufacturers to pro-duce all sorts of patterns in thread work in imitation of the patterns for hand-made lace. The latest improvement in machinery for lace making has resulted in a French machine called the "dentellière" (see La Nature for 3d March 1881). The work produced by this machine is plaited. That pro-duced by the English and by other French machines is of twisted threads. At present, however, the expense attend-ing the production of plaited lace by the " dentellière " is as great as that of pillow lace made by the hand.

Before considering technical details in processes of making lace, the principal parts of a piece of lace may be named. A prominent feature is the ornament or pattern. This may be so designed that the different parts may touch one another, and so be fastened together, no ground-work of any sort being required. Ground works are useful to set off the pattern, and either consist of links or tyes, which give an open effect to the pattern, or else of a series of meshes like net. Sometimes the pattern is outlined with a thread or cord line, or more strongly marked by means of a raised edge of button-hole stitched or plaited work. Fanciful devices are sometimes inserted into various portions of the pattern. In some of the heavy laces, which resemble delicate carving in ivory, little clusters of small loops are distributed about the pattern. French terms are frequently used in speaking of details in laces. Thus the pattern is called the toile or gimp, the links or tyes are called brides, the meshed grounds are called réseaux (retiola), the outline to the edges of a pattern is called cordonnet, the insertions of fanciful devices modes, the little loops picots. These terms are applicable to the various portions of all laces made with the needle, on the pillow, or by the machine.

The history of patterns in lace is roughly as follows. From about 1540 to 1590 the forms were geometric, chiefly common, without brides or réseaux. From 1590 to 1630 may be dated the introduction of floral and human forms and slender scrolls held together by brides. At this time lace makers enriched their works with insertions of modes. To the period extending from 1620 to 1670 belongs the development of scrolls and elaboration of details like the cordonnet with massings of picots. Much heavy raised lace enriched with fillings in of modes was made at this time. About 1660 réseaux came into use. From 1G50 to 1720 the scroll patterns gave way to arrangements of detached ornamental details which were frequently filled in with elaborate modes. A closer imitation of all sorts of subjects was attempted in lace patterns. Pictorial representations of figures, incidents, persons, arose. The purely conventional scrolls were succeeded by naturalistic renderings of garlands, flowers, birds, and such like. The use of meshed grounds extended, and grounds composed entirely of varieties of modes were made. From 1720 to 1780 small details of bouquets, sprays of flowers, single flowers, leaves, buds, spots, and such like were adopted, and sprinkled over meshed grounds. Since that time down to the present day all these styles of pattern have been used as fashion has required.

Needlepoint Lace.-—The way in which the early Venetian "punto in aria," as already described, was made appears to correspond precisely with the elementary principles upon which needlepoint lace is now worked. The pattern is first drawn upon a piece of parchment. The parchment is then stitched to a stout bit of linen. Upon the leading lines drawn on the parchment threads are laid, which are here and there fastened through to the parchment and linen by means of stitches. When the skeleton thread pattern is completed, a compact covering of thread in button-hole stitches is cast upon it (fig. 1). The portions which may be required to be represented as close linen work or toile are worked as indicated in the enlarged diagram (fig. 2). Between the leading lines of the pattern may be inserted tyes (links) or meshes, so that the pattern is held together. When all is finished, a knife is passed j3§ between the parchment and the stout linen, cutting the stitches which have passed through the

Fig. 3.—Part of a Border of Needlepoint Lace, geometric design. About 1550.

parchment and linen, and so releasing the lace itself from its pattern parchment. For about sixty years the laces thus made were chiefly geometric in pattern (fig. 3). They were used both for insertions between seams and for borders. Following closely upon these geometric laces

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came laces of a freer style of design, and towards the end of the 16th century designs for scrolls with the introduction of all kinds of odd figures and leaves and blossoms were pro-duced (fig. 4). Links or tyes—brides—came to be interspersed between the various details of the patterns (fig. 5). The work was of a flat character. Some large and elaborate specimens of this flat point lace were made at this time. The lace workers occasionally used gold thread with the white thread. The nomenclature of these earlier needle-made laces is somewhat modern. At the present time the different sorts of early Venetian point laces are called " flat Venetian point," " rose (raised) point," "caterpillar point," " bone point," cfec.; and works of bold design done in relief are called " gros point de Venise." Lace of this latter class (figs. 6, 7) was used for altar cloths, flounces, and heavily trimmed jabots or neckcloths which hung beneath the chin over the breast. Tabliers and ladies' aprons were also made of such lace. The laces which have hitherto been referred to are laces in which no regular FIG. 6.—Venetian Needlepoint Lace, ground was used. All sorts of minute embellishments, like little knots, stars, and loops or picots, were worked on to the irregularly arranged brides or tyes holding the main patterns together, and these devices as a rule gave a rich effect to the lace work. Following this style of treatment came laces with groundworks; and grounds of brides or tyes arranged in a honey-comb pattern were, it appears, first used early in the 1 7th century (fig. 8). To them succeeded a lighter sort of lace, one in which the rich and FlG- 7.—-Venetian Needlepoint Lace, compact relief gave place to much flatter work with a ground of meshes. The needle-made meshes were sometimes of single and sometimes of double threads. A diagram is given of an ordinary method of making such meshes (fig. 9). The delicate Venetian point lace made with a ground of meshes is usually known as " point de Venise à réseau." It was contemporary with the famed needle-made French laces of Alençon and Argentan. " Point d'Argentan" has been thought to be especially distinguished on account of its ground of hexagonally arranged brides. But this has been noticed as a peculiarity in certain Venetian point laces of earlier date. Often intermixed with this stiff hexa-gonal brides ground is the fine-meshed ground or réseau, which hasbeen held to be distinctive of " point d'Alençon " (fig. 10). But, apart from the assumedly distinctive grounds, the styles of patterns and the methods of work-ing them, with rich variety of insertions or modes, with raised but-ton-hole-stitched edg-ings or cordonnets, are FlG- -~Venetian Needlepoint Lace, precisely alike in the two classes of Argentan and Alençon needle-made laces. Besides the hexagonal brides ground and the ground of meshes there was another variety of grounding used in the Alençon laces, which was exten-sively used and forms a third class. This ground consisted of button-hole-stitched skeleton hexagons within each of which was worked a small solid hexagon connected with the outer surrounding hexagon by means of six little tyes or brides (see fig. 11). Lace with this particular ground has been called " Argen-tella," and some writers on lace have thought that it was a specialty of Genoese or Venetian work. The character of the work and the style of the floral patterns worked upon such grounds are those of Alençon laces, and specimens of this " Argen-tella" often contain insertions of the Argentan brides and the Alençon fine meshes.

There are very slight indications respecting the establishment of a lace manufactory at Argentan, where-as those regarding Alençon are nu-merous. A family of thread and linen dealers, inhabitants of Alençon, by name Monthuley, are credited with the establishment of a branch manufactory or succursale for lace at Argentan. In the course of business, the Monthuleys assisted the interchange of lace patterns between Argentan and Alençon, which are distant one from another about 10 miles. Thus if a piece of lace was produced at Alençon it was called " point d'Alençon," and if at Argentan " point d'Argentan," though both works might have been made

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from one design. From about 1670 to 1780 a great deal of point lace was made at Alengon and in the neighbouring villages. The styles of patterns varied, as has been stated. Point d'Alengon is still made.

In Belgium, Brussels has acquired some celebrity for needle-made laces. These, however, are chiefly in imitation of those made at Alencon. Brussels needlepoint lace is often worked into meshed grounds made on a pillow. The Brussels needle-lace workers used a plain thread as a corclonnet for their patterns instead of a thread overcast with button-hole stitches as in the A^enetian and French needlepoint laces.

FIG. 12.—English Point Lace.

This kind of lace has also been produced in England. "Whilst the character of English design in needlepoint laces of the early 17th century (fig. 12) is simpler than that of the contemporary Italian, the method of workmanship is virtually the same. Specimens of needle-made work done by English school children may be met with in samplers of the 17th and 18th centuries. Point lace is successfully made in Irish convents. In all great towns like London, Paris, Brussels, Vienna, lace dealers undertake to supply demands for finely executed modern imitations of old needle-made lace. At Burano the lace-making school lately established there produces hand-made laces which are, to a great extent, careful reproductions of the more celebrated classes of point laces, such as "punto in aria," " rose point de Venise," " point de Venise à réseau," " point d'Alengon," " point d'Argentan," and others. A weaving of threads with a needle into a foundation of net—very distinctive, and different from the " punto a maglia " or " lacis "—has been done for a long time in Spain. Its leading characteristic is the pattern of repeated squares, filled up with star figures. When fine thread is used the effect of heavy cobwebs is produced. Work of this de-scription has been made in Paraguay, where a coarse " torchon " pillow lace is also produced.

Pillow-made Lace.—Pillow-made lace is built upon no substructure, like a skeleton thread pattern, such as is used for needlepoint lace. It is the representation of a pattern obtained by twisting and plaiting threads. The only preexisting analogue of pillow laces is to be found in the primitive twistings and plaitings of fibres and threads. The English word " lace" in the 15th century was employed to describe fine cords and braids. In a Harleian MS. of the time of Henry VI. and Edward IV., about 1471, direc-tions are given for the making of " lace Bascon, lace indented, lace bordered, lace covert, a brode lace, a round lace, a thynne lace, an open lace, lace for hattys," &c. The MS. opens with an illuminated capital letter, in which is the figure of a woman making these articles. Her im-plements are not those with which pillow lace of orna-mental quality from the middle of the 16th century and onwards has been made. The MS. supplies a clear de-scription how threads in combinations of twos, threes, fours, fives, to tens and fifteens, were to be twisted and plaited together. Instead of the pillow, bobbins, and pins with which pillow lace is made, the hands were used. Each finger of a hand served as a peg. The writer of the MS. says that it shall be understood that the first finger next the thumb shall be called A, the next B, and so on. According to the sort of twisted cord or braid which had to be made, so each of the four fingers A, B, C, D might be called upon to act like a reel, and to hold a " bowys " or " bow," or little ball of thread. Each ball might be of different colour from the other. A " thynne lace " might be made with three threads, and then only fingers A, B, C would be required. A "round" lace, stouter than the " thynne " lace, might require the service of four or more fingers. By occasionally dropping the use of threads from certain fingers a sort of indented lace or braid might be made. But when laces of more importance were wanted, such as a broad lace for " hattys," the hands of assistants were required.

FIG. 13.—Cuff trimmed with Plaited and Twisted Thread Work in Points, or Scallops. Late 16th century.

Pillow lace making was never so strictly confined to geometric patterns as point lace making. Curved forms, almost at its outset, seem to have been found easy of execution (fig. 13). One reason for this no doubt is that the twisted and plaited work was not constrained by a founda-tion of any sort. The plaitings and twist-ings gave the workers a greater freedom in reproducing designs. At the same time, little speciality of pattern seems to have been produced for the pillow lace workers, and so laces worked on the pillow, particularly those of higher pretence to artistic design, were similar in pattern to those worked with the needle. The early wiry-looking twisted and plaited thread laces were soon succeeded by laces in which flattened and broader lines occupy a pro-minent position (fig. 14). Tape was also sometimes used for the broad lines. The weaving of tape appears to have been begun in Flanders about the end of the 16 th or the be-ginning of the 17th century. In England it dates no farther back than 1747, when two Dutchmen of the name of Lanfort were invited by an Eng-lish firm to set up tape looms in Manchester and give instructions in the method of weaving tape.

FIG. 14.—Plaited aud Twisted Thread Work known as "Merletti a Piombinin." About 1560.

FlG- 15-— Diagram showing slx Bobbins in use.

The process by which lace has been made on the pillow from about the middle of the 17th cen-tury is very roughly and briefly as follows. A pattern is first drawn upon a piece of paper or parchment. It is then pricked with holes by a skilled " pattern pricker," who deter-mines where the principal pins shall be stuck for guiding the threads. This pricked pattern is then fastened to the

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pillow. The pillow or cushion varies in shape in different countries. Some lace makers use a circular pad, backed with a flat board, in order that it may be placed upon a table and easily moved as the worker may wish. Other lace workers use a well-stuffed round pillow or short bolster, flattened at the two ends, so that they may hold it between their knees. On the upper part of the pattern are fastened the ends of the threads from the bobbins. The bobbins thus hang across the pattern. Fig. 15 shows the commencement of a double set of three-thread plaitings. The compact portion in a pillow lace has a woven appearance (fig. 16).

Fig. 16.

Fig. 17,—Pillow-made Lace "abrides." Flemish. 17th century. Sometimes called " Point d'Angleterre."

In the 17th century pillow lace in imitation of the scroll patterns of point lace was made. This sort of work, pro-duced chiefly in Flanders, went under the name of " point d'Angleterre" (fig. 17). Into Spain and France much lace from Venice and Flanders was imported as well as into England, where from the 16th century the manu-facture of " bone lace " by peasants in the midland and southern counties was carried on. This bone lace consisted chiefly of borders done in imitation of the Venetian "merletti a piombini." In Charles II.'s time its manufac-ture was of sufficient im-portance to demand par-liamentary attention. The trade was threatened with extinction by the more artistic and finer Flemish laces. The importation of the latter was prohibited. Flemish lace workers sought to evade the pro-hibitions by calling certain of their laces " puint d' Angleterre." But the dif-ficulties which attended the smuggling into Eng-land of these "points d'Angleterre" appear to have stimulated English dealers in lace anxious to supply the demands of fashion to obtain the services of Flemish laee makers and to induce them to settle in Eng-land. It is from some such cause that English pillow lace closely resembles in character of design pillow laces of Brussels, Mechlin, and Valenciennes.

FIG. 18.—English Pillow Laces. 18th century.

Fig. 18 gives three sorts of Buckinghamshire pillow laces, the patterns of which have been in use since the middle of the 18 th century. In (a) is a variety of fillings-in, which give the name of "trolly" to such specimens. It is an adaptation of Mechlin " trolle kant" or sampler lace, sent round to dealers and purchasers to show the variety of patterns which the lace makers happened to be at work upon. Specimens (b) and (c) are both in the style of certain 18th century Mechlin laces, (c) being also like laces made at Lille and Arras.

Fig. 19. Mechlin Mesh.

FIG. 20.—Enlargement of Mesh of Brussels ground, showing the four-twisted and two-plaited sides in each mesh.

As skill in making lace developed, patterns and particu-lar plaitings came to be identified with certain localities. Mechlin enjoyed a high reputation for her production, which was in the 17th century poetically styled the "queen of laces." The chief features of this pillow lace are the plaiting of the meshes, and the outlining of the pattern or toile with a thread. The ordinary Mechlin mesh is hexagonal in shape. Four of the sides are of double twisted threads, two are of four threads plaited three times (fig. 19). The mesh of Brussels pillow lace is also hexagonal. Four of the sides are of double-twisted threads, two are of four threads plaited four times (fig. 20). The finer specimens of Brussels lace are remarkable for the fidelity and grace

Fig. 21. Pillow Lace. Brussels. 18th century.

with which floral compositions are rendered. Many of these compositions are either reproductions or adaptations of designs for point d'Alencon, and in such patterns the soft quality of fine pillow-made lace contrasts with the harder and more crisp appearance of needlepoint lace. In the Brussels pillow lace (fig. 21) much realistic effect is obtained by the delicate modelling imparted to the flowers by means of a bone instrument used to give concave shapes to petals and leaves, the edges of which are often marked by a flattened and slightly raised cordonnet of plaited work. Honiton pillow lace resembles Brussels lace. As a rule it is made with a coarser thread, and the designs lack the careful drawing and composition which may be seen in Brussels pillow laces. In Valenciennes lace there are no

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twisted sides to the mesh; all are closely plaited (fig. 22), and as a rule the shape of the mesh is diamond. No outline or

FIG. 23.—Peasant Lace from Crete.

cordonnet is used in Valenciennes lace. Besides these dis-tinctive classes of pillow-like laces, there are others in which

FIG. 24.—German Pillow-made Lace. 18th century.

FIG. 25.—Russian Pillow Laces. 19th century.

equal ingenuity is displayed, though the character of the design remains primitive, as for instance in peasant laces from Crete (fig. 23), Russia, and Germany. Pillow lace making in Crete would seem to have arisen in consequence of Venetian intercourse with the island. The art is now said to be extinct. The laces were chiefly made of silk. The patterns in many specimens are outlined with one, two, or three bright-coloured silken threads. As a rule the motives of the Cretan lace patterns are traceable to orderly arrangement and balance of simple symmetrical and geometrical details, such as diamonds, triangles, and odd polygonal figures. Uniformity in character of design may be observed in many of the German and Russian laces, especially in respect of patterns like that shown in fig. 24 and fig. 25 a. This sort of pattern is used in peasant laces of Sweden, in common French "torchon" laces, and in a lace made at Ripon in Yorkshire. The meshed grounds (réseaux) of the Chantilly silk laces were generally simple in character, as shown in fig. 26.

Guipure.—This name, often applied to needlepoint and pillow laces, pro-perly designates a kind of lace or "passement" made with "cartisane" "Cartisane" is a little strip of thin parchment or vellum, which was covered with silk, gold, or silver thread. Guipure is also made with fine wires whipped round with silk, and with cotton thread similarly treated. These stiff threads, formed into a pattern, were held together by stitches worked with the needle. Such work, which is very much dependent upon the ductile characteristics of the materials employed, is now called gimp work. Gold and silver thread laces were usually made on the pillow.

Machine-made Lace.—We have already seen that a technical peculiarity in making needlepoint lace is that a single thread and needle are alone used to form the pattern, and that the button-hole stitch and other loopings which can be worked by means of a needle and thread mark a dis-tinction between lace made in this manner and lace made on the pillow. For the process of pillow lace making a series of threads are in coustant employment, plaited and twisted the one with another. A button-hole stitch is not producible by it. The machine does not attempt to make either a button-hole stitch or a regular plait. Up to the present, however ingenious may be the counterfeits of design of all sorts of lace produced by the machine, an essential principle of the machine-made work is that the threads are merely twisted together. The only ex-ception which could be made to this statement would be as regards the plaited lace made by the "dentellière" already mentioned. The Leavers lace machine is that which is gene-rally in use at Nottingham and Calais. French ingenuity has developed improvements in this machine whereby laces of delicate thread are made ; but as fast as France makes an improvement England follows with another, and both countries virtually maintain an equal position in this branch of industry. The number of threads brought into operation in a Leavers machine is regulated by the pattern to be produced, the threads being of two sorts, beam ot warp threads and bobbin or weft threads. Upwards of 8880 are sometimes used, sixty pieces of lace being made simultaneously, each piece requiring 148 threads—100 beam threads and 48 bobbin threads. The ends of both sets of threads are fixed to a cylinder , upon which as the manufacture pro-ceeds the lace be-comes wound. The supply of the beam or warp threads is held upon reels, and that of the bobbins or weft threads is held in bobbins. The beam or warp thread reels are ar-ranged in frames or trays beneath the stage, above which and between it and the cylinder the twisting of the bobbin or weft with beam or warp threads takes place. The bob-bins containing the bobbin or weft threads are flattened in shape so as to pass conveniently between the stretched beam or warp threads. Each bobbin can contain about 120 yards of thread. By most ingenious mechanism varying degrees of tension can be imparted to warp and weft threads as required. The bobbins of the weft threads as theypass like pendulums betweenthewarpthreads are made to oscillate, and through this oscillation the threads twist themselvesorbecome twisted with the warp threads. As the twistings take place, combs passing through both warp and weft threads compress the twistings. Thus the usual machine-made lace may generally be detected by its com-pressed twisted threads.

Fig. 27

Fig. 28

Figs. 27 and 28 are intended

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to show effects obtained by varying the tensions of weft and warp threads. For instance, if the weft, as threads b, b, b, b in fig. 27, be tight and the warp thread slack, the

FIG. 29.—Section of Lace Machine.

warp thread a will be twisted upon the weft threads. But if the warp thread a be tight and the weft threads b, b, b, b, be slack, as in fig. 28, then the weft threads will

FIG. 30.—Pillow-made Lace. Mechlin. Early 18th century.

be twisted on the warp thread. At the same time the twisting in both these cases arises from the conjunction of movements given to the two sets of threads, namely, a movement from side to side of the beam or warp threads,

and the swinging, or pendulum-like oscillations of the bobbin or weft threads between the warp threads. Fig. 29 represents a section of part of a lace machine. E is the cylinder or beam upon which the lace is rolled as made, and upon which the ends of both warp and weft threads are fastened at starting. Beneath are w, w, w, a series of trays or beams, one above the other, containing the reels of the supplies of warp threads; c, c represent the slide bars for the passage of the bobbin 6 with its

FIG. 31.—Machine-made Imitation of Mechlin Pillow Lace.

thread from k to k, the landing bars, one on each side of the rank of warp threads; s, t are the combs which take it in turns to press together the twistings as they are made. The combs are so regulated that they come away clear from the threads as soon as they have pressed them together and fall into positions ready to perform their pressing operations again. The contrivances for giving each thread a particular tension and movement at a certain time are connected with an adaptation of the Jacquard

FIG. 32.—Venetian Point Lace, à réseau. 17th century.

system of pierced cards. The machine lace pattern drafter has to calculate how many holes shall be punched in a card, and to determine the position of such holes. Each holo regulates the mechanism for giving movement to a thread. Fig. 30 is a specimen of a Flemish pillow lace of the early 18th century. The meshes of the ground are variegated in appearance. A thread outlines the pattern. In Fig. 31 it will be seen that the manufacturer has merely attempted to reproduce the pattern of the foregoing, His meshes are regular. No outlining thread marks the pattern, which, instead of being filmy, like cambric, is ribbed. This speci-

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men, recently made at Calais with a Leavers machine, is produced at a cost of Is. 2d. a yard, whilst the value of the original hand-made pillow lace is at least ¿61, 5s. a yard. Fig. 32 is taken from a piece of fine needle-made lace (point de Venise a reseau). The flat and even appearance iu the close portions (the toile) of the pattern, the slight thread (cordonnet) outlining the pattern, and the delicate fillings-in or modes of tracery work may be noted for comparison

FlG. 33.—Machine-made Imitation of Venetian Point Lace, à réseau.

with corresponding details in the machine-made imitation (fig. 33). In this the close portions are ribbed, the cordonnet is stouter and stands in relief, and the tracery modes are simpler in composition.

Literature.—The literature of the art of lace making is consider-able. The series of 16th and 17th century lace pattern-books, of which the more important are perhaps those by F. Vinciolo (Paris, 1587), Cesare Vecellio (Venice, 1592), and Isabetta Catanea Parasole (Venice, 1600), not to mention several kindred works of earlier and later date published in Germany and the Netherlands, supplies a large field for exploration. Recently Signor Ongania of Venice has published a limited number of facsimiles of the majority of such works. M. Alvin of Brussels issued a brochure in 1863 upon these patterns, and in the same year the Marquis Girolamo d'Adda contributed two bibliographical essays upon the same subject to the Gazette cles Beaux Arts (vol. xv. p. 342 sq., and vol. xvii. p. 421 sq.). In 1864 Cavalière A. Merli wrote a pamphlet (with illustra-tions) entitled Origine ed uso dette Trine a filo di refe ; Mons F. de Fertiault compiled a brief and rather fanciful Histoire de la Dentelle in 1843, in which he reproduced statements to be found in Diderot's Encyclopédie, subsequently quoted by Roland de la Platière. The first Report of the Department of Practical Art, ] 853, contains a "Report on Cotton Print Works and Lace Making" by Octavius Hudson, and in the first Report of the Department of Science and Art are some "Observations on Lace," with magnified representations of details showing stitches and plaits used in various laces. Mr Hudson delivered two lectures "On Lace made by Hand" in 1853. Reports upon the International Exhibitions of 1851 (London) and 1867 (Paris), by M. Aubry, Mrs Palliser, and others, contain informa-tion concerning lace making. But the most important work first issued upon the history of lace making is that by the late Mrs Bury Palliser (History of Lace, 1869; latest edition, 1875). In this work the history is treated rather from an antiquarian than a technical point of view ; and wardrobe accounts, inventories, state papers, fashionable journals, diaries, plays, poems, have been laid under contribution with surprising diligence. The Queen Lace Book, an historical and descriptive account of the hand-made laces of all countries, published in London in 1874, relies for much of its data upon Mrs Palliser's book, and contains some illustrations of ex-cellent specimens of work. In 1875 the Arundel Society brought out a folio volume of permanently printed photographs taken from some of the finest specimens of ancient lace which were collected for the International Exhibition of 1874. These were accompanied by a brief history of lace, written from the technical aspect of the art, by Mr Alan S. Cole. At the same time appeared a bulky imperial 4to volume by M. Seguin, entitled La Dentelle, which is illustrated with woodcuts and fifty photo-typographical plates. M. Seguin divides his work into four sections. The first of these is devoted to a sketch of the origin of lacis ; the second deals with pillow laces, bibliography of lace, and a review of sumptuary edicts ; the third relates to needle-made lace ; and the fourth contains an account of places where lace has been and is made, remarks upon commerce in lace, and upon the industry of lace makers. This method of treating the subject entails the repetition of numerous facts and observations. Without sufficient conclusive evidence M. Seguin accords to France the palm for having excelled in producing the richer sorts of laces, which both before and since the publication of his otherwise valuable work have been identified as being Italian in origin. Descriptive catalogues are issued of the lace collections at South Kensington Museum, at the Science and Art Museum, Dublin, and at the Industrial Museum, Nuremberg. In 1881 a series of four Cantor Lectures on the art of lace making were delivered before the Society of Arts by Mr Alan S. Cole, and have since been extracted from the journal of the society, and published in a pamphlet form, with illustrations. The latest work on the subject is a Technical History of the Manufacture of Venetian Laces, by G. M. Urbani de Gheltof, with plates, translated by Lady Layard, and published at Venice by Signor Ongania. The History of Machine-wrought Hosiery and Lace Manufacture (London, 1867), by Felkin, has already been referred to. There is also a technological essay upon lace made by machinery, with diagrams of lace stitches and patterns (Technologische Studien im Sächsischen Erzgebirge, Leipsic, 1878), by Hugo Fischer. (A. S. C. )

LACE (v14, page 184)

which directly developed into point lace. The methods of producing them were various. A common way was to fasten on a light frame a reticulation of threads, under which was fastened, by gum or otherwise, a piece of fine lawn. Then along these threads the pattern to be formed was stitched to the lawn background in button-hole stitching, and the superfluous parts of the lawn were afterwards drawn or cut away,—whence the names "punto a reti-cella " and " punto tagliato." In other cases no cloth at all was used, and the pattern, consisting of an interlacing framework of threads, was simply sewed over with button-hole stitches. This was " punto in aria." The early geo-metrical patterns of the " punto a reticella" or " punto tagliato " and " punto in aria " were probably derived from the Ionian Islands and Greece, and the cut-work itself was indeed also known as Greek lace. The close connexion of the proud and powerful Venetian republic with Greece and the eastern islands, and its commercial relations with the East, sufficiently explain the early transplanting of these arts into Venice. Once fairly established, they quickly grew in beauty and variety of pattern, complexity of stitch, and delicacy of execution, until Venetian lace attained an artistic grace and perfection which baffle all description. The making of the principal and most important variety of Venetian needlepoint lace, the " punto in aria," began to be practised in the middle of the 16th century.
It is a noteworthy circumstance that the two widely distant regions of Europe where pictorial art first flourished and attained a high perfection, North Italy and Flanders, were precisely the localities where lace-making first took root, and became an industry of importance both from an artistic and from a commercial point of view. The inven-tion of pillow lace is generally credited to the Flemings; but there is no distinct trace of the time or the locality. In a picture said to exist in the church of St Gammar at Lierre, and sometimes attributed to Quentin Matsys (1495), _is introduced a girl working lace with pillow, bobbins, &c, which are somewhat similar to the implements in use in more recent times. From the very infancy of Flemish art an active intercourse was maintained between the Low Countries and the great centres of Italian art; and it is therefore only what might be expected that the wonderful examples of the art and handiwork of Venice in lace-making should soon have come to be known to and rivalled among the equally industrious, thriving, and artistic Flemings. And so we find that, at the end of the lGth century, lacis and needlepoint lace were also known and made in Flanders, and pattern-books were issued having the same general character as those published for the instruction of the Venetians and other Italians. In Italy, under the name of "merletti a piombini," the art of twisting and plaiting threads by means of bobbins or fuxii was early practised; and in later times fine scrolls in great widths for altar frontals were made in Italy on the pillow.
France and England were not far behind Venice and
Flanders in adopting lace. Henry III. of France (1574-1589) appointed a Venetian, Frederic Vinciolo, to be pattern maker for varieties of linen needle works and laces to his court. Through the influence of this fertile designer the seeds of a taste for lace in France were principally sown. But the event which par excel-lence would seem to have fostered the art of lace making there was the aid and patronage officially given it in the following century by Louis XIV., acting on the advice of his minister Colbert. Intrigue and diplomacy were put into action to secure the services of Venetian lace-workers ; and by an edict dated 1665 lace-making centres were founded at Alengon, Quesnoy, Arras, llheims, Sedan, Chateau Thierry, Loudun, and elsewhere. The state made a contribution of 36,000 francs in aid of a company to carry out the organization of these establishments; and at the same time the importation of Venetian, Flemish, and other laces was strictly forbidden. The edict contained instructions that the lace-makers should produce all sorts of thread work, such as those done on a pillow or cushion and with the needle, in the style of the laces made at Venice, Genoa, Eagusa, and other places; these French imitations were to be called "points de France." By 1671 the Italian ambassador at Paris writes, " Gallantly is the minister Colbert on his way to bring the ' lavori d'aria' to perfection." Six years later an Italian, Domenigo Contarini, alludes to the " punto in aria," " which the French can now do to admiration.'' The styles of design which emanated from the chief of the French lace centres, Alengon, were more fanciful and floral than the Venetian, and it is quite evident that the Flemish lace-makers adopted many of these French patterns for their own use. The importance of the French designs, which owe so much to the state patronage they enjoyed, was noticed early in the 18th century by Bishop Berkeley. "How," he asks, " could France and Flanders have drawn so much money from other countries for figured silk, lace, and tapestry, if they had not had their academies of design t"
3 See the poetical skit Revolte des Passements et Broderies, written by Mademoselle de la Tousse, cousin of Madame de Sévigné, in the middle of the 17th century, which marks the favour which foreign laces at that time commanded amongst the leaders of French fashion. It is fairly evident too that the French laces themselves, known as "bisette," "gueuse," "campane," and "mignonette,"were small and comparatively insignificant works, without pretence to design.
The humble endeavours of peasantry in England (which could boast of no schools of design), Germany, Sweden, Russia, and Spain could not result in work of high artistic pretension. Lace making is said to have been promoted in Russia through the patronage of the court there, after the visit of Peter the Great to Paris in the early days of the 18th century. In Germany, Barbara Uttmann, a native of Nuremberg, instructed peasants of the Harz mountains to twist and plait threads in 1561. She wus assisted in this by certain refugees from Flanders. A sort of " purling" or imitation of the Italian " merletti a piombini" was the style of work produced here. It did not develop in any important way, nor have German laces acquired great artistic reputation. Spain has been con-sidered to have been a lace-making country, and no doubt a good deal of lace, having, however, no distinctive charac-ter, was made in Spanish conventual establishments. The " point d'Espagne," however, appears to have been a com-mercial name given by French manufacturers of a class of lace greatly esteemed by Spaniards in the 17th century. No lace pattern books have been found to have been published in Spain. The point laces which came out of Spanish monasteries in 1830, when these institutions were dissolved, were not distinguishable from similar Venetian needle-made laces. The lace vestments pre-served at the cathedral at Granada hitherto presumed to


The prevalence of fashion in the above-mentioned sorts of em-broidery during the 16th century is marked by the number of pattern-books then published. In Venice an early work of this class was issued by Alessandro Pagannino in 1527 ; another of a similar nature, printed by Pierre Quinty, appeared in the same year at Cologne ; and La fleur de la science de pourtraicture et patrons de broderie, facon arabicque et ytalique, was published at Paris in 1530. From these early dates until the beginning of the 17th century pattern-books for embroidery in Italy, France, Germany, and England were produced and published in great abundance. The designs contained in many of those dating from the early 16th century were to be worked for cos-tumes and hangings, and consisted of scrolls, arabesques, birds, animals, flowers, foliage, herbs, and grasses. So far, however, as their reproduction as laces might be concerned, the execution of complicated work was involved which none but practised lace-workers, such as those who arose a century later, could be expected to overcome.
The picture, however, as Seguin has pointed out, was probably
pa-nted some thirty years later, and by Jean Matsys,-


1 Italian, nierletto, trina ; Genoese, pizzo ; German, Spitzen ; French, dentelle ; Dutch, kanten ; Spanish, encode. The English word is the Fr. lassis or lacis, connected with the Latin laqueus, Early French laces were ajso called passeinents (" insertions "),

186-1 The lace workers at Alençon and its neighbourhood produced work of a daintier kind than that chiefly made by the Venetians. As a rule the hexagonal bride grounds of Alençon laces are smaller than similar details in Venetian laces. The average size of a diagonal taken from angle to angle in an Alençon (or so-called Argentan) hexagon was about one-sixth of an inch, and each side of the hexagon was about one-tenth of an inch. An idea of the minuteness of the work can be formed from the fact that a side of a hexagon would be overcast with some nine or ten button-hole stitches.

3 See the poetical skit Revolte des Passements et Broderies, written by Mademoselle de la Tousse, cousin of Madame de Sévigné, in the middle of the 17th century, which marks the favour which foreign laces at that time commanded amongst the leaders of French fashion. It is fairly evident too that the French laces themselves, known as "bisette," "gueuse," "campane," and "mignonette,"were small and comparatively insignificant works, without pretence to design.

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