Samuel L. Goldenberg.
"I have here only a nosegay of culled flowers,
and have brought nothing of my own but the
thread that ties them together." — Montaigne.
HE task of the author of this work has not been an attempt to
brush the dust of ages from the early history of lace in the
hope of contributing to the world's store of knowledge on the
subject. His purpose, rather, has been to present to those whose rela-
tion to lace is primarily a commercial one a compendium that may,
perchance, in times of doubt, serve as a practical guide.
Though this plan has been adhered to as closely as possible, the
history of lace is so interwoven with life's comedies and tragedies,
extending back over five centuries, that there must be, here and there
in the following pages, a reminiscent tinge of this association.
Lace is, in fact, so indelibly associated with the chalets perched high
on mountain tops, with little cottages in the valleys of the Appenines and
Pyrenees, with sequestered convents in provincial France, with the raiment
of men and women whose names loom large in the history of the
world, and the futile as well as the successful efforts of inventors to
relieve tired eyes and weary fingers, that, no matter how one attempts
to treat the subject, it must be colored now and again with the hues of
many peoples of many periods.
The author, in avowing his purpose to give this work a practical
cast, does not wish to be understood as minimizing the importance of any
of the standard works compiled by those whose years of study and
research among ancient volumes and musty manuscripts in many tongues
have been a labor of love. Rather would he pay the meed of tribute to
those who have preserved to posterity the facts bearing upon the early
history of lace, which have been garnered with such great care.
Nevertheless, most of these works, necessarily voluminous and
replete with detail, are more for the connoisseur or dilettante than for
the busy man of affairs upon whom the practical aspect of lace, quite
dissociated from the romance in which it is steeped, always forces
It is for men of this type, and with no little misgiving, and a full
appreciation of how far short of his ideal the volume must be, that the
author has undertaken the compilation of this work.
Samuel L. Goldenberg.
Its Origin and History.
j^HEX, where and how lace had its origin no one will pretend
to say. There is a general agreement, however, that lace,
as the term is understood to-day, is a comparatively modern
product, it being impossible to identify any of the antique specimens
preserved from the ravages of time as belonging to a period further
back than the early part of the sixteenth century.
True it is that there are specimens of woven fabrics of a lacelike
character which were undoubtedly made at an earlier date, but most
of the authorities who have delved deep into the subject are of opinion
that lace probably does not antedate A. D. 1500.
A perusal of the available records in many tongues fails to make
clear just where lace was first made. Spain, Italy, Belgium, France
and Germany have all claimed the honor, and each has been able to
present a great deal of testimony in support of its contention ; but the
records of early times are so meagre and indefinite that it is impossible
to bestow the coveted honor for the discovery of the art upon any one
Loci': Its Origin and History.
The instrument that is responsible for lace is the needle, but the
earliest forms of lace were not the woven fabric that we know to-dav,
but rather cutwork, which, as far as we have any authentic records,
was first practiced by the nuns in the convents of central and southern
Europe. This work was sometimes characterized as nun's work, and
was designed almost exclusively for altar decorations and the robes of
prelates, thought it was also regarded as the insignia of rank and
station. Some of the specimens of this work, still preserved in museums.
show that the early workers possessed a skill in the art never excelled.
Of course, with the progress of time, designs have become more ornate
and intricate, but many of the old patterns still survive, and doubtless
will continue to survive, till the end of recorded time.
The desire to elaborate the edges of plain fabrics, wdiether of linen
or heavier material, was an entirely natural impulse to get away from
the harsh simplicity of the times. To this desire must be ascribed
the beginning of the mammoth lace industry of to-day.
One authority says that coeval with these styles of decoration was
drawnwork, in which the weft and warp threads of plain linen were
drawn out, thus forming a square of network made secure by a stitch
at each intersection. The design was afterward embroidered, frequently
Perhaps, all things considered, the lace industry received its greatest
impetus during the period known in history as the Renaissance, when
Europe, emerging from the severe and formal garb of the Medieval
Age, began to bedeck itself in the most graceful and beautiful manner.
A number of methods were employed in the production of the lace
of that brilliant period, the simplest of which consisted of forming the
design independently of the foundation. Threads spreading at even
distances from a common center served as a framework for others
which were united in squares, triangles, rosettes and other figures
Real Flemish Point.
Real Point de Venise.
worked over with the buttonhole stitch, forming in some portions open-
work, in others solid embroidery. This was, in fact, the first needle-
made laee. and doubtless its origin is due to the Venetians.
Qirough constant practice the art was developed to a very high
state by the nuns, who taught their methods to the pupils of the con-
vents, through whom the knowledge passed to the peasantry, and thus
became an important industry. Perhaps, however, the development of
the lace industry at this period was due more to the spread of the
methods by which it was done — through books more than in any other
manner — for it must be remembered that contemporaneously with the
development of the industry the art of printing was in its first bloom.
As one traces the growth of lacemaking from the earliest times he
is impressed with the sharp advance made at the beginning of the seven-
teenth century, when laceworkers, having practically exhausted the
designs possible by the then known methods, invented passementerie,
which were known as passements. These, speaking broadly, much
resemble the passementerie of to-day.
They were made of stout linen thread in imitation of high relief
work of the needle point, a thick thread being introduced to mark the
salient points of the pattern. Thus the term guipure was applied to
the thread lace with guipure reliefs, and the designation has since
remained to all laces without grounds, in which the patterns are united
In the beginning lace was made by two entirely distinct processes,
in commenting upon which we can do no better than to quote the words
of Cole, which are particularly lucid and concise. He says : "It is
remarkable that lacemaking should have sprung up or been invented
at about the same period of time by two entirely distinct processes
without relationship or evolution between them, and that the people of
the countries wherein either of the inventions was made were not only
Lace: Its Origin and History.
unknown to each other, but apparently neither had any knowledge of
the processes of lacemaking employed in the other country."
One of these processes is the employment of the needle and the single
thread, wherein the work was perfected mesh by mesh, each mesh being
completed as the work progressed.
The other process was by the use of many threads at once, each
one attached to bobbins, for the purpose only of separating them, the
meshes being made by twisting the threads a greater or less number
of times. When each mesh is only partially completed the thread is
carried on to the next, and so on, from side to side, the entire width
of the fabric.
Felkin, in his history of embroidery and lace, says that when pillow
lace was invented — about the middle of the sixteenth century — the vari-
ous kinds of point lace then in use had reached a high state of perfec-
tion. Some early writers after much laborious investigation assert that
pillow lace was first made in Flanders. In later years it has been almost
universally attributed to Barbara, wife of Christopher Uttman; she was
then dwelling with her husband at the Castle of St Annaburg, Belgium,
1561. From the castle, where she taught the peasantry as in a school,
it soon spread over the country, and women and girls of the district,
finding that the making of lace was more profitable than their former
employment of embroidering veils according to the Italian practice,
adopted the Uttman method. No trace of this mode of making lace
(by use of pillow and bobbins) can be found before this date; hence
the presumption that these were the time and place of the invention of
bobbin lace. Barbara Uttman died in 1575. That she was the true
inventress is recorded on her tomb.
It will be seen from the foregoing that one process had its origin
in Italy, and the other its origin in Belgium, though, if we accept
Felkin's statement, we must accord to Italy the first honor, for he says
Lace: Its Origin and History.
distinctly that the Belgian peasantry gave up making lace according- to
the Italian method to adopt the process invented by Barbara Uttman ;
consequently, the Italian method must have been first. The present
writer disclaims any intention to dispose of this moot question, and
is only led to the above observation by reason of the high standing
which Felkin's work has attained.
There arc two broad divisions of lace — namely, hand-made lace and
machine-made lace. In the world of commerce to-day the latter-named
product, which is but a child of the former, is vastly the more important.
This for the reason that hand-made lace, which is produced with such
arduous toil, skill and patience, is beyond the purse of the million, and
is and ever must be considered as one of the luxuries.
True, some of the simpler forms of hand-made lace are produced with
relatively great facility, and the price is correspondinglv cheap, as com-
pared with the delicate, finely wrought designs, that it sometimes takes
years to produce. Nor is this the sole reason for the popularity of
machine-made laces, for to such perfection has the mechanical art of
lacemaking attained that it is practically impossible, even for experts,
to detect the difference between lace made by the deft, cunning fingers
of lady or maid from the lace made possible by modern machinery.
In hand-made lace the two principal classes are the needle-point
and bobbin, or pillow-made, lace. Needle-point lace is worked upon
loose threads laid upon a previously drawn pattern, but which have no
point of contact with one another and no coherency until the needle-
work binds them together. This work is done with a needle and single
thread. As we have said, the pattern is first drawn, usually upon parch-
ment ; a piece of heavy linen is stitched to the parchment for the pur-
pose of holding it straight ; then threads to the number of two, three,
four, or more, are laid along the many lines of the pattern, and sewed
lightly down through parchment and linen. The entire figure is then
Real Duchesse and Point Gaze.
carried out, both solid filling and openwork, with fine stitching, the
buttonhole stitch being most generally employed.
Bobbin, or pillow-made, lace is the highest artistic development of
twisted and plaited threads. It is made from a large number of threads
attached by means of pins to an oval-shaped cushion or pillow, each
thread being wound upon a small bobbin. The design, as in the mak-
ing oi needle point lace, is first drawn on stiff paper or parchment,
and carefully stretched over the pillow. Then the pattern is pricked out
along the outline of the drawing and small pins are introduced at close
intervals, around which the threads work to form the various meshes
and openings. From right to left the thread is bound lightly upon the
bobbins and tied at the top of each in a loop that permits it gradually
to slip oft" the bobbin when gently pulled, as occurs generally when
The worker begins by interlacing the bobbins, which are used in
pairs, placing small pins in all perforations, and crossing the bobbins
after the insertion of each pin. Around these pins the design is
formed, the threads being crossed and recrossed and passed under and
over each other with remarkable rapidity and accuracy. When the
whole width of the large piece of lace is carried on together the num-
ber of bobbins and pins is very great and the work highly expensive,
but it is customary to work each sprig separately, these being joined
together in the form of a strip afterward by means of a curious loop-
stitch, made by a hook called a needle-pin.
Scarcely had lace been invented before it had assumed almost
priceless value, and it is worth while remarking here that though cen-
turies have since elapsed, the value of these delicate, hand-wrought
fabrics has not in any sense diminished. Throughout the sixteenth,
seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries rare lace of beautiful
pattern has been highly prized, some of the earliest specimens, in the
Real Irish Point.
in Lace: Its Origin and History.
possession of world-famous libraries and museums, being of relatively
By very reason of the conditions inevitably associated with its mak-
ing, lace must always remain one of the dearest articles of commerce,
for there is certainly nothing more rare or costly than these tine, dainty,
yet withal, substantial tissues.
Perhaps of all her compeers Venice attained the highest proficiency
in the production of beautiful lace. There, as we have remarked,
needle-point had its origin, and many of the beautiful patterns pro-
duced by the women of the "Queen of the Adriatic" are even to-day
the admiration of all who have a true appreciation of the artistic.
Venice guarded the secret of her methods with jealous care, and
it was many years before the world was made familiar with the manner
in which the exquisite floral designs, with their wealth of minor adorn-
ments, were worked out. Thus Italy was able to lay tribute upon the
entire civilized world, and her coffers were enriched to overflowing
from the receipts of the sales of lace to eastern, central and northern
Apropos of Italy's claim to the invention of needle-point, it has been
claimed that the Italians originally derived the art of fine needlework
from the Greek refugees in Italy, while another author asserts that the
Italians are indebted to the Saracens of Sicily for their knowledge.
All these claims, however, are merely speculative. For instance, no one
disputes that embroidery antedates lace, and yet we have authors who
endeavor to show that embroidery had its origin in Arabia, deducing
from this that lace, also, must have had its birth in one of the Oriental
countries. But it is a well-established fact that while we have absolute
knowledge of the existence of embroidery in the countries of the Levant,
there is absolutely no indication, of even the slightest value, that points
to the existence of lace before it was made by the Italians and Belgians.
Lace: Its Origin and History. H
In the municipal archives of Ferrara, dated 1469, is an allusion to
lace, but there is a document of the Sforza family, dated in 1493, in
which the word "trina" constantly occurs, together with "bone" and
Spain was, as far as the records testify, the earliest and most adept
pupil of Italy in the art of lacemaking, though, as in Italy, at the begin-
ning the work was confined in the Iberian peninsula to the inmates of
the convents. Spain, too, achieved high distinction in this field, its
Point d'Espagne being one of the most celebrated of all the ancient
laces, even vying with the finest Venetian point. In those days, as will
be recalled, the power of the Church was absolute, and the use of laces
for daily wear was prohibited, though on Sundays and holidays it was
greatly in evidence in the attire of those of high station.
One of the most interesting facts concerning the development of
lace has to do with the patterns produced in the various localities of
Europe. In the beginning the number of designs was necessarily lim-
ited, but as the industry developed and spread, and as the workers
became more expert and artistic, there was an uncontrollable impulse
to break away from conventional designs and to evolve new patterns.
Then, too, there was something of the spirit of pride behind this move-
ment — a sort of local patriotism, if it may so be termed. The Belgian,
the Spaniard and the Frenchman were not content slavishly to imitate
Italian designs, and, anxious to win a name for themselves, set about
to produce new effects that would immediately identify them with the
place of their origin.
Thus it was, too, that various cities and towns in Italy, France,
Belgium, Spain and elsewhere sought to establish for themselves an
individual product of great excellence that would give to the city or
town prestige and renown in the then few commercial marts of the
world. This explains the various names which were given to distinct
12 Lace: Its Origin and History.
types oi laces hundreds oi years ago, and which designations still obtain,
as. for instance, Alencon, Valenciennes, Chantilly, Honiton, Arras,
Bayeux, Genoa, Florence, etc.
Another fact worthy of record is that of all the almost numberless
designs that have been given to the world since the birth of lace there
have been some one or two characteristics that tell as plainly as though
expressed in words that each one of these designs was made at some
particular period of history. It is well that this is so, for it has enabled
the historian to trace, with more or less certainty, the development of
the industry. In other words, a lace expert is enabled to tell from
the fabric not only in what country it was made, but in what part of
that country, and also the approximate date.
In the self-sufficiency of the present age we are apt to regard with
a sort of supercilious disdain any story reflecting upon the supremacy
of our forebears in any of the arts or the sciences ; but that we cannot
make, in a commercial way, such lace as was woven in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries is beyond question. In the first place, time is
lacking, and if it must be confessed, the great skill that comes only
through years of constant practice is also lacking.
Modern real lace is artistic, even superior, but compared with such
few specimens as have come clown to us of the work of the lacemakers
of old, its deficiency, particularly in the matter of the fineness of the
execution and thread, is at once apparent. Hand-made lace is to-day
produced all over the world ; commercially its production is confined to
France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy and England, where large quanti-
ties are still produced. France, however, with that fostering care which she
has bestowed upon her many other arts, and with that keen apprecia-
tion of the beautiful that is so inherent in her people, is far in the van
in the matter of producing hand-made lace, though in respect to two
or three types Belgium is in the front rank.
1 1 Lace: Its Origin a ml History.
Coming down to the question oi machine-made lace, it is neces-
sary to observe at the outset that the same distinctions that exist
between the genuine and the imitation do not obtain as applied to these
fabrics. In other words, the knowledge that lace is a product of the
frame rather than the fingers in no sense condemns it. For to such a
high plane has the mechanical production of lace been lifted that one
is almost tempted to say that the products vie in beauty of design and
perfection of finish with the lace produced by hand. That there is
warrant for this seeming exaggeration is borne ont by the fact that
not infrequently it is impossible for experts to tell the difference be-
tween two specimens of lace of the same design, one made by hand
and the other by machine.
What inventors have accomplished in this respect is truly marvel-
ous. In the beginning their efforts were not at all satisfactory, and
the history of machine-made lace abounds with pathetic instances of
men who sought in vain to duplicate with fidelity, by means of mechan-
ical devices of hundreds of types and patterns, the dextrous touch of
the human hand.
W. Felkin, in his history of lace manufacture, says that lace net
was first made by machinery in 1768. Other authorities place the date
as between 1758 and 1760. In 1809 bobbin net was invented, and in
1837 the Jacquard system was applied to the bobbinet machine.
Mrs. B. Palliser. in "The History of Lace," says of the invention
of machinery for the production of lace that the credit is usually
assigned to Hammond, a stocking framework knitter of Nottingham,
who, examining one day the broad lace on his wife's cap, thought he
could applv his machine to the production of a similar article. His
attempt so far succeeded that, by means of the stocking frame invented
in the previous century, he produced, in 1768, not lace, but a kind of
knitting of running loops or stitches.
Lore: Its Origin and History. 15
In 1777 Else and Harvey introduced at Nottingham the pin or
point net machine, so named because made on sharp pins or points.
Point net was followed by various other stitches of a lacelike charac-
ter, but despite the progress made, all efforts at producing a solid net
were futile. It was still nothing more than knitting, a single thread
passing from one end of the frame to the other, and if a thread broke
the work was unraveled. This was overcome in a measure by gumming
the threads, giving the fabric a solidity and body not possible without
resorting to some artificial method of this sort.
The great problem inspired the efforts of numberless inventors,
and many attempts were made to combine the mechanism used respect-
ively by the knitter and the weaver, and after many failures a machine
was produced which made Mechlin net.
There are few histories bearing upon the invention of labor-saving
devices that are so replete with the records of failure as is the history
of the attempt to produce a practical lace machine. John Heathcoat,
of Leicestershire, England, was the inventor of the machine for mak-
ing bobbin net. His patents were taken out in 1809, and to him must
be accorded the credit of solving for the first time the problem that
had vexed the minds of so many inventors and had depleted the purses
of so many capitalists.
The bobbin net machine, so named because the threads are wound
upon bobbins, first produced a net about an inch in width, afterward,
however, producing it a yard wide.
It was the application of the celebrated Jacquard attachment to the
lace machine that has made possible the duplication of practically
every pattern of lace made by hand. The machine of Heathcoat was
vastly improved by John Leavers, also of Nottingham, and the tvpes
produced by him are still in use throughout England and France,
though, of course, there are in these days a large number of different
types oi machines bearing different names, but the principle of the
Leavers machine, more or less modified, obtains in practically all of
the devices. Therefore a description of the process of lacemaking by
the Leavers frame will serve as a description for all.
The number of threads brought into operation in this machine is
regulated by the pattern to be produced. The threads are of two sorts,
warp and bobbin threads. Upward of 9,000 are sometimes used,
sixty pieces of lace being made at once, each piece requiring 118
threads (100 warps and 18 bobbin threads). The supply of warp
threads is held upon reels, the bobbins carrying their own supply. The
warp threads are stretched perpendicularly and about wide enough
apart to admit a silver quarter passing edgeways between them. The
bobbins are flattened in shape so as to pass conveniently between the
warps. Each bobbin can contain about 120 yards of thread. By most
ingenious mechanism varying degrees of tension can be imparted to
warp and bobbin threads as required. The bobbins, as they pass like
pendulums between the warp threads, are made to oscillate, and through
this oscillation the threads twist themselves or become twisted with the
warp threads, as required by the pattern that is being produced. As
the twisting takes place, combs compress the twistings, making them
more compact. If the bobbin threads be made tight and the warp
threads slack, the latter will be twisted upon the former; but if the
warps are brought to a tension and the bobbin threads be slack, then
the latter will be twisted on the warps. The combs are so regulated
that they come clear away from the threads as soon as they have pressed
them together, and fall into position 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 adapta-
tion of the Jacquard system of pierced cards. The lace machine is
highly complicated, much of its complexity being due to the mechanism
L8 Lace: Its Origin and History.
In which the oscillating or lateral movements arc produced. Expert
workmen prepare the working drawings for the lace machine, and also
perform the more important duties in its operation, but a large part of
the work is carried on by women and girls.
One of the most interesting developments of the lace industry has
been the gradual evolution from the work of the hand toilers to the
utilization ^\ complex machinery. In addition to the Leavers machine,
which is referred to elsewhere in extenso, the embroidery machine plays
a very important part in the making of laces. From 1870 to 1880, various
efforts had been made to produce lace on the embroidery machine, and
it was during this decade that the first success was achieved in the
making of Oriental or net laces in Plauen. This was the first actual
production of lace from the embroidering machine, and this sort of lace,
which still exists to-day, is really an embroidery on a net, although
usually designated as lace. A few years later a discovery was made
which effected a great change in the making of laces on the embroidery
machine. This was the principle of embroidering on a material which
was afterward removed by a chemical process. The first article produced
was called Guipure de Genes, and was at that time patented, but the
patent was held to be invalid, and a few years afterward this article was
generally produced both in St. Gall, where it first appeared, and in
Plauen. By this method of manufacture are produced to-day all of the
imitation guipure laces, such as Point de Venise, Rose Point, Point de
( ienes, etc.
The embroidering machine in use at the present day is constructed
entirely of iron, measuring from 15 to 20 feet long, 9 feet high, 9 feet
wide and weighs about 3,800 pounds. It can be operated by hand or
by power. The method of embroidering is exceedingly simple. The
cloth, usually somewhat over 4r| yards long, is tightly stretched in an
upright position in the center of the machine, each end of the suspended
20 Lace: Its Origin and History.
strip being held firmly by means of stunt hooks. The needles (from
150 to 300 in number, according to the sort of work to be done) are
arranged horizontally in a framework in a straight, level row, all pointing
toward the cloth ami extending from end to end of same. The needles
are supplied with threads about one yard in length, which are fastened by
means of a peculiar knot to the eye, the latter being in the middle of the
needle instead of at the end. In producing any given stitch in the pattern
to be worked, the long row of needles all move forward at once at the
will of the operator, and thus duplicate the stitch in every pattern or
"section" along the entire 4^ yards of cloth suspended in the machine.
As may he readily understood, the machine in this manner completes
4 A yards of embroidery in the same time it would take a woman with a
needle to finish a single pattern. When one row is completed the strip
of cloth is raised and another row is made, and so on until it is neces-
sary to put in another length of cambric. This machine is capable of
making patterns from the very narrow up to the full width of the cloth.
What is known as the Schiffli, or power machine, is very similar to
the hand-embroidering device, being an improvement on the latter and
worked with a shuttle in addition to the needles. Its capacity is nearly
eight times greater, or from 15,000 to IS, 000 stitches per day, against
2,000 to 3,000 on the hand machine. To offset this advantage, how-
ever, the Schiffli machine is much more expensive, and is of delicate and
complicated construction, easily got out of order and costly to repair.
Until a comparatively recent date the Schiffli was not considered as a
competitor of the hand machine, its work being inferior in quality and
confined to simple patterns. At present, however, it is generally con-
ceded that the goods produced by it not only compete with the hand-
machine products, but are already superseding the latter to some extent.
It is predicted that the Schiffli machine, operated by power, will ulti-
mately supply all the embroidery in the low and medium grades.
The variety and adaptability of the designs which both of these
machines are capable of producing are endless, and at the same time
comparatively inexpensive. It is this latter fact which accounts for the
great advantage of the embroidering machine over the lace machine.
The preparing and setting of a design for a lace machine is very ex-
pensive, and the great cost compels the manufacturer of machine lace to
turn out large quantities of one set pattern in order to get a return from
About the beginning of the nineteenth century, lace machines were
first introduced into France from Nottingham, at Boulogne-sur-mer,
where the industry remained for a few years and then moved to Calais.
There this industry has developed and increased to such proportions that
Calais is now the principal city for the production of fine laces of all
kinds, and practically leads Nottingham in creating novelties and new and
original effects. Shortly after the Franco-Prussian war the industry
found a foothold in Caudry, in the north of France, where it has also
developed to quite large proportions, and shares to-day a large part of
the trade which has resulted from the founding of the parent industry in
Calais. The kind of lace produced in Caudry is generally of a cheaper
character than that produced in Calais.
In Lyons, too, there has been established for many years the industry
of making laces and nettings by mechanical processes. This is still a
very large industry, and about twenty years ago there was a large trade
done with America in the manufacture of laces in vogue at that time,
which were the imitation of the real Spanish, called "Blonde Grenade."
There are still made in Lyons to-day various imitations of fine laces,
which in a general way are of a different quality to the laces made at
Calais or Caudry, and Lyons enjoys a reputation in regard to the char-
acter of the laces it produces which is unique in the trade.
About the year 1890, a Frenchman invented a machine similar in
Lace: Its Origin and History.
principle to the knitting machine, which reproduces with absolute fidelity
the work of the bobbins in making pillow laces. Through this invention
he was able to imitate such handry the Duchesse of Longueville
established the manufacture of silk lace at Chantilly and its neighbor-
hood, and as Paris was near and the demand of royalty for this lace
increased it became very popular. At the time of the Revolution the
prosperity of the industry w r as ruined, and many of the lacemakers were
sent to the guillotine. During the ascendancy of the first Napoleon,
the manufacture of Chantilly again became flourishing. Since then the
industry has been driven away from that town on account of the higher
labor costs resulting from the nearness of Chantilly to Paris, and the
lacemakers, unable to meet this increased cost, retired to Gisors,
where half a century ago there were between 8,000 and 10,000 lace-
makers. The supremacy of lacemaking formerly enjoyed by Chantilly
has now been trasferred to Calvados, Caen, Bayeux and Grammont.
The widely-known Chantilly shawls are made at Bayeux, and also at
Chenille. — A French lace, made in the eighteenth century, so called
because the patterns were outlined with fine white chenille. The ground
was made of silk in honeycomb reseau, and the patterns were geomet-
rical and filled with thick stitches.
Cluny. — A kind of net lace with a square net background in which
the stitch is darned. It is so called from the famous museum of antiqui-
ties in the Hotel Cluny, at Paris, and also because the lace was sup-
posed to have a medieval appearance. The patterns used are generally
of an antique and quaint description, mostly of birds, animals and
flowers, and in the existing manufacture the old traditions are fairly
well preserved. Sometimes a glazed thread is introduced in the pattern
as an outline. Cluny is a plaited lace, somewhat similar to the Genoese
and Maltese laces, and is made in silk, linen or cotton.
Cordover.— A kind of filling used in the pattern of ancient and
modern point lace.
Cork. — A name formerly used for Irish lace in general, when the
manufacture of Irish lace was principally confined to the neighborhood
Craponne. — A kind of stout thread guipure lace, of cheap price
and inferior make, used for furniture.
Cretan. — A name given to an old lace, ordinarily made of colored
material, whether silk or linen, and sometimes embroidered with the
needle after the lace was complete.
Crewel. — A kind of edging made of crewel or worsted thread,
intended as a border or binding for garments.
Crochet. — Lace which is made with a crochet hook, or whose pat-
tern is so made and then appliqued on a bobbin or machine-made net.
It is similar to needle-point lace, although not equal in fineness to the
best examples of the latter.
Crown. — A lace whose pattern was worked on a succession of
crowns, sometimes intermixed with acorns and roses. It was made first
in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. A relic of this lace may still be found
:'.!. Lace: Its Origin and History.
in the "faux galon," sold for the decoration of fancy dresses and theat-
Dalecarlian. — Lace made for their own use by the peasants of
Dalecarlia 3 a province of Sweden. Its patterns are ancient and tradi-
tional. It is a coarse guipure lace, made of unbleached thread.
Damascene. — An imitation of Honiton lace, made by joining lace
sprigs and lace braid with corded bars. It differs from modern point
lace in that it has real Honiton sprigs, and is without needlework
Darned Lack. — A general name for lace upon a net ground, upon
which the pattern is appliqued in needlework. The different laces of
this kind are described under Filet Erode, Guipure d'Art and Spider-
Devonshire. — Lace made in Devonshire, England, and more fre-
quently designated as Honiton. (See Honiton.) Formerly practically
the whole female population of Devonshire were employed in lacemak-
ing, and during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Belgian, French
and Spanish laces were imitated in that country most successfully, as
were also Venetian and Spanish needle-point, Maltese, Greek and Geno-
ese laces. During the last century this variety in lacemaking has died
out in Devonshire, and now only Honiton is made.
Diamond. — A lace made with a stitch either worked as open or
close diamonds, and used in modern point and in ancient needle-points.
Dieppe. — A fine point lace made at Dieppe, in France, resembling
Valenciennes, and made with three threads instead of four. There
were several kinds of lace made at Dieppe in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, including Brussels, Mechlin, Point de Paris and
Valenciennes, hut the true Dieppe point was eventually restricted to
two kinds, the narrow being called the Ave Maria and Poussin, the
wider and double grounded, the Dentelle a la Vierge. Dieppe and
Lace: Its Origin and History.
Havre wore formerly the two great lace centers of Normandy, manu-
facturing in those cities having- antedated that at Alencon, but the pros-
perity oi the lace industry in both these cities was nearly destroyed at
the Revolution, and though for a time encouraged under the restored
Bourbons, and patronized by Napoleon III, machine-made laces have
practically driven the old Dieppe point out of the market.
Dresden Point. — A fine drawn lace, embroidered with the needle
and made in Dresden (hiring the latter part of the seventeenth and the
whole of the eighteenth century. It was an imitation of an Italian point
lace, in which a piece of linen was converted into lace by some of its
threads being drawn away, some retained to form a pattern, and others
worked together to form square meshes. The manufacture of Dresden
point declined, and now laces of many kinds are made there, notably an
imitation of old Brussels.
Duchesse. — A fine pillow lace, a variety originally made in Belgium
resembling Honiton guipure lace in design and workmanship, but worked
with a finer thread and containing a greater amount of raised or relief
work. The leaves, flowers and sprays formed are larger and of bolder
design. The stitches and manner of working in Honiton and Duchesse
Dux kirk. — A pillow lace made with a flat thread, and whose manu-
facture was carried on in the districts aronnd Dunkirk, a French sea-
port, in the seventeenth century. The best known kind was an imita-
tion of Mechlin lace.
Dutch. — A coarse, strong lace, made with a thick ground, and of
plain and heavy design. It is a kind of cheap Valenciennes. Dutch
lace is inferior in design and workmanship to those of France and
English Point. — (a) A fine pillow lace made in the eighteenth
century, generally considered to be of Flemish origin and manufacture,
Lace: Its Origin and History. 39
and mistakenly called "Point d'Angleterre," as it was neither point lace
nor made in England. Some writers, however, assert its English
origin. Owing to the protection formerly given by law to English
laces, large quantities of Belgium laces are believed to have been smug-
gled into England under the name of "Point d'Angleterre," so as to
evade the customs duties, (b) At the present day the finest quality of
Brussels lace, in which needle-point sprigs are applied to Brussels bob-
bin-ground. (See Application lace, also Point d'Angleterre.)
Escurial. — A modern silk lace, made in imitation of Rose point.
The patterns are outlined with a lustrous thread or cord.
Fayal. — A delicately made and costly lace, hand-made by the
women of the Island of Fayal, one of the Azores, off the western Span-
ish coast. The thread used in making this lace is spun from the fiber
of the leaves of the alol, a plant resembling somewhat the century plant.
Great skill is necessary in the manufacture, which is restricted to a com-
paratively few women of the island, who have been trained to this
work from childhood. The lace is marketed in France, chiefly in Paris,
at a verv high price, and it is very difficult for outside purchasers to
buy it at any cost. The patterns are extremely elegant and original in
design. Notwithstanding the delicacy of this fabric, it is remarkably
Fedora. — See Point Applique.
False Valenciennes — (a) Lace resembling Valenciennes in sur-
face and in pattern, but without the true Valenciennes net ground,
(b) A term for Valenciennes lace made in Belgium.
Flat Point. — Lace made without any raised-work or work in relief
from raised points.
Flemish Point. — A needle-point guipure lace made in Flanders.
Footing.— A narrow lace which is used to keep the stitches of the
10 Lace: Its Origin and History.
ground firm and to sow the lace to the garment upon which it is to be
worn. Sometimes the footing is worked with the rest of the design.
It is used also in making lace handkerchiefs and for quilling effects.
Genoa. — A name originally given to the gold and silver laces for
which Genoa was famed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but
n.nv applied to lace made from the fiber of the aloe plant, and also to
Gold. — Lace made of warp threads or cords of silk, or silk and cot-
ton combined, with thin gold or silver gilt bands passing around it.
It was anciently made of gold or silver gilt wire. It is now used chiefly
to decorate uniforms, liveries and some church costumes, and occasion-
allv for millinery. The metal is drawn through a wire, and, after being
flattened between steel rollers, several strands of the flattened wire are
passed around the silk simultaneously by means of a complex machine
having a wheel and iron bobbins. The history of gold lace is interest-
ing, as illustrating the oldest form of the lacemaker's art. From the
davs of Egypt and Rome down to medieval Venice, Italy and Spain,
gold and silver gilt wire were used in making this kind of lace. The
Jews in Spain were accomplished workers in this art, and in Sweden
and Russia gold lace was the first lace made. In France gold lacemak-
ing was a prosperous manufacture at Aurrillac and Arras, at which
latter place it flourished up to the end of the eighteenth century. Gold
lace was imported into England at an early date, and King James I
established a monopoly in it. Its importation was prohibited by Queen
Anne, on account of the extravagant uses of ornamentation to which
it was put, and it was also prohibited in the reign of George II, to cor-
rect the prevalent taste for the foreign manufactured lace. The attempt
was unsuccessful, for we are told that smuggling greatly increased. It
became a "war to the knife between the revenue officer and society at
large, all classes combined, town ladies of high degree, with waiting-
Real Point de Paris.
pj Lace: Its Origin and History.
maids, and the common sailor, to avoid the obnoxious duties and cheat
Grammont. — Grammont lace, so called from the town of Gram-
mom, in Belgium, where it was originally manufactured, is of two
kinds: (a) A cheap, white pillow lace, (b) A black silk lace, resem-
bling the Chantilly blondes. These laces are made for flounces and
shawls, and were used both in America and Europe. As compared with
Chantilly, the ground is coarser and the patterns are not so clear-cut and
elegant as the real Chantilly.
GuEUSE. — A thread pillow lace made in France during the eight-
eenth centurv. The ground of this lace was reseau, and the toile was
worked with a thicker thread than the ground. It was formerly an
article of extensive consumption in France, but, after the beginning of
the nineteenth century, it was little used, except by the poorer classes.
It was formerly called "Beggars' lace."
Guipure. — It was originally a kind of lace or passement made of
cartisane and twisted silk. The name was afterward applied to heavy
lace made with thin wires whipped around the silk, and with cotton
thread. The word guipure is no longer commonly used to denote such
work as this, but has become a term of variable designation, and it is
so extensively applied that it is difficult to give a limit to its meaning.
It may be used to define a lace where the flowers are either joined by
brides, or large coarse stitches, or lace that has no ground. The mod-
ern Honiton and Maltese are guipures, and so is Venetian point. But
as the word has also been applied to large, flowing pattern laces, worked
with coarse net grounds, it is impossible to lay down any hard and
fast rule about it.
Hexriques. — A fine stitch or point, used both in early and modern
Holeie Point. — A needle-point lace said to have been originally
Machine Irish Crochet.
called holy point, on account of its uses. It was popular in the middle
ages for church decoration, but was adapted to different purposes in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and various makes of lace have
since been called by this name.
Honiton. — A pillow lace originally made at Honiton, Devonshire,
England, and celebrated for the beauty of its figures and sprigs. The
manufacture is still carried on at that town, where there is a lace school,
but a similar lace is made in the leading- Continental centers of the
(a) Honiton Application is made by working the pattern parts on
the lace pillow and securing them to a net ground, separately made. At
present it is customary to use machine-made net upon which hand-
made sprays are sewn.
(b) Honiton guipure, which in common acceptation passes as Honi-
ton lace, is distinguished by its large flower patterns upon a very open
ground, the sprays being united by brides or bars.
Honiton braid is a narrow, machine-made fabric, the variety in most
general use being composed of a series of oval-shaped figures united by
narrow bars. It is of different widths, in linen, cotton and silk, and is
much used in the manufacture of handkerchiefs, collars, and some
varieties of lace.
The history of Honiton lace is more than ordinarily interesting,
partlv by reason of the doubt as to whether it really was a lace of
English invention, or brought by the Flemish workmen to England.
Some writers assert the former, but the stronger probability is that the
art was brought from Flanders by Protestant immigrants, who fled
from persecution. Whichever theory is held, the development of the
industry at Honiton, and its close resemblance to other lacemaking
processes in Belgium, Holland and France, afford an excellent illustra-
tion of the interdependence of lacemakers in all countries upon each
other as regards improvements resulting from new ideas. Honiton, if
it was brought from Flanders originally, afterward repaid the debt by
the beauty and celebrity of its designs, which served as examples for
Continental lacemakers. The very attempt to protect its manufacture
in England, by imposing prohibitive duties, only increased the desire to
receive foreign suggestions, and to smuggle foreign laces into England,
while the ingenuity of Continental manufacturers succeeded in copying
the best Honiton designs, and even in improving upon them. The
English lacemakers at Honiton were, however, at first unsuccessful in
their attempts to rival the best laces of the Continent, especially Brus-
sels. Although they had royal patronage, and the whims and lavish
expenditure of the court of Charles II were at their service, together
with protective duties, it was not until the reign of George II and
George III that English lace substantially improved. This resulted
from substituting the working of the true Brussels net ground, or vrai
reseau, for the old guipure bar ground. The patterns were also formed
of detached flower sprays, and soon the Honiton product became almost
unrivaled. This superiority continued until about 1820, when machine-
made net was introduced, and the old exquisite net ground, made of the
finest Antwerp thread, went out of fashion by reason of the commer-
cial demand for an inferior product. Honiton guipure is now the chief
form of lace made at that town. As regards composition of the pat-
terns of Honiton laces, as well as finish and delicacy of execution, much
improvement has been manifested during the last twenty years by rea-
son of better schools for design, and the rivalry promoted by interna-
Imitation. — Machine-made lace of any kind. It often rivals real
lace in fineness, but necessarily its mechanical regularity of pattern
detracts somewhat from the artistic character of the result. Constant
improvement in processes, however, has in some laces made the resem-
It; Lace: Its Origin and History.
blance to the hand-made product so close that even experts can hardly
recognize the difference. It it were asked how the imitation lace can
be distinguished from needle-point, the answer is that it is not made
with looped stitches like the latter, nor has it the effect of plaited threads,
as in pillow lace. Again, the toile of machine-made lace is often found
to be ribbed, and this lace is very generally made of cotton instead of
the linen thread with which old needle-point and pillow lace is made.
In the invention of substitutes for hand-made lace stitches Switzer-
land has been the leader, and by 1868 hundreds of machines, perfected
from the invention of a native of St. Gall, were turning out a close imi-
tation of the hand-made work. The most recent triumphs of this
description are the imitations of Venetian point, in which a nearer
approximation than ever before has been made to the needle-worked
toile, and also of the bride work. But, notwithstanding the marvelous
results attained in machine-made lace, they are the triumphs of mechan-
ism which cannot displace the superiority, and charm, and rarity, of the
finest hand-made work. In the latter the personal equation, the skill
and the loving, workmanlike fidelity of the individual toiler to his task
impart a quality which dead mechanism can neither create nor super-
sede. Machine-made lace may be predominantly the lace of commerce,
but hand-made lace is the natural expression and embodiment of a deli-
cate and difficult art, and thus it will ever remain.
Insertion.- — A .kind of lace, embroidery or other trimming used to
insert in a plain fabric for ornamental purposes. It is made with the
edges on both sides alike, and often a plain portion of the material out-
side the work, so that it may be sewn on one side to the garment for
which it is intended and to the plain part of the lace or border on the
Irish. — A term denoting a variety of laces made in Ireland, of
which the two most individual and best-known kinds are the net em-
is Lace: Its Origin and History.
broideries of Limerick and the applique and (.-tit cambric work of Car-
rick-ma-cross. ( )ther varieties, which are imitations of foreign laces,
are Irish point, resembling Brussels lace; black and white Maltese;
silver, black and white blondes. The Limerick embroideries, for they
cannot be strictly called lace, are an imitation of Indian tambour work,
and consist of tine embroidery in chain-stitches upon a Nottingham
net. Carrick-ma-cross, or Irish guipure, is a kind of so-called Irish
point lace, made at the town of that name, but which is really nothing
more than a species of embroidery, from which part of the cloth is cut
away, leaving a guipure ground. It is not a very durable lace. The
most popular patterns are the rose and the shamrock. Irish crochet is an
imitation of the needle-point laces of Spain and Venice ; that is to say,
it resembles these laces in general effect. There is also a needle-point
lace made of rather coarse thread, and used exclusively in Ireland and
England. The manufacture of laces in Ireland is carried on by the cot-
tagers, by the nuns in the convents, and in several industrial schools
founded for that purpose. It has only become a popular industry
within the last twenty-five years, as the costumes of the people in earlier
times did not require lace ornamentation, and there was a widespread
and deep-rooted aversion to the adoption of English fashions in clothing
so long as certain sumptuary laws were unrepealed.
Afterward, under slightly more liberal conditions, English fashions
were gradually adopted, and with them came the demand for a cheap
Irish lace, as the foreign laces were too expensive. Not until 1743 was
there any official attempt to encourage the industry, but in that year the
Royal Dublin Society established prizes -for excellence in lacemaking.
This attempt lasted until 1774. In 1820 a school was opened in Lim-
erick for instruction in the now celebrated lace or embroidery first made
in that town; but in the famine years of 1846-48 more effectual meas-
ures were taken to spread a knowledge of the art, and several schools
Lace: Its Origin and History. 49
were opened in different parts of the country. The Irish have never
made a lace that can in any sense be called national, but great skill has
been developed in the imitations of the foreign fabrics, and the Irish
name has been so closely associated with some of them that they are
popularly considered a native Irish product. The exhibition of Irish
laces at the Mansion House in London in 1883 added materially to the
reputation of these fabrics.
Irish Trimming. — A plain-patterned, woven lace, formerly used
in ornamenting muslin underwear, pillow slips and the like.
Jesuit. — A modern needle-point lace, made in Ireland, and so called
on account of the tradition as to the introduction of its manufacture
after the famine of 1846.
Knotted. — A term applied to the old Punto a Groppo, of Italian
manufacture originally, and consisting of a fringe or border made of
knotted threads. It is commonly called Knotting in all English-speak-
ing countries. The modern Macrame is made like the knotted laces.
Lille. — A lace made at Lille, in France, noted for its clear and light
single reseau ground, which is sometimes ornamented with points
d'esprit. It is a lace of simple design, consisting of a thick run thread,
enclosing cloth-stitch for thick parts, and plaitings for open parts. The
old Lille lace is always made with a stiff and formal pattern, with a
thick, straight edge, and with a square instead of the usual round dots
worked over the ground. Lille was distinguished as a lacemaking city
as far back as 1582, and from that year until 1848 the industry was
successful, but since the latter year there has been a steady decline, as
more remunerative occupations have gradually drawn away the younger
workers from lacemaking. The Lille pattern was similar to that of the
laces made at Arras and Mirecourt, in France, and in Bedfordshire and
Buckinghamshire, in England, but none of the latter could rival the
famous single reseau ground.
50 Lace: Its Origin and History.
Limerick. — (Sec Irish Lace.)
Luxeuil. — A term applied to several varieties of hand-made lace
produced at Luxeuil, France. They are stout, heavy laces, mostly made
with the use of braid, and are much used for curtains and draperies.
Macrame. — A word of Arabic derivation, signifying a fringe for
trimming, whether cotton, thread or silk, and now used to designate an
ornamental cotton trimming, sometimes called a lace, made by leaving
a long fringe of coarse thread, and interweaving the threads so as to
make patterns geometrical in form. It is useful in decorating light
upholstery. Macrame cord is made of fine, close-twisted cotton thread,
prepared especially for the manufacture of Macrame trimming, and also
for coarse netting of various kinds. The foundation of all Macrame lace
or trimming is knots, made by tying short ends of thread either in hori-
zontal or perpendicular lines, and interweaving the knots so as to form
a geometrical design, as above mentioned, and sometimes raised, some-
times flat. This necessitates the forming of simple patterns. This lace
is really a revival of the old Italian knotted points, which were much
used three centuries ago in Spain and Italy for ecclesiastical garments.
It appears in some of the paintings of the early masters, notably Paul
Veronese. The art has been taught during all the nineteenth century in
the schools and convents along the Riviera. It is developed in great
perfection at Chiavari, and also at Genoa. Specimens of elaborate work-
manship were in the Paris Exhibition of 1867.
Macklin. — Another name for Mechlin lace.
Maline. — A name sometimes applied to Mechlin lace, especially to
the varieties whose ground is distinguished by a diamond-shaped mesh.
Maltese. — A heavy but attractive pillow lace, whose patterns, of
arabesque or geometric design, are formed of plaiting or cloth-stitch,
and are united with a purled bar ground. It is made both in white silk
52 Lace: Its Origin and History.
and thread, and also in black Barcelona silk. There is also a cotton
machine-made variety, used chiefly in trimming muslin underwear.
The history of Maltese lace is interesting from the fact that the kind
originally made in that island by the natives, which was a coarse variety
of Mechlin or Valenciennes, of an arabesque pattern, was in 1833 super-
seded by the manufacture of the white and black silk guipures now so
widelv known as Maltese lace. This improvement was clue to Lady
Hamilton Chichester, who brought laceworkers over from Genoa to
teach their craft in the island. Some of the patterns from that time
showed the influence of the Genoese instruction. Maltese lace is made
not only in Malta, but in Auvergne and Lepuy in France; in Bucking-
hamshire and Bedfordshire, in England, and also in the Irish lace
schools. Ceylon and Madras lace also resembles Maltese. Formerly
shawls and veils of much beauty and value were made of this lace, but
the manufacture is now confined chiefly to narrow trimmings.
Mechlin. — A pillow lace originally made at Mechlin, Belgium, and
whose special characteristics are the narrow, flat thread, band or cord,
which outlines the pattern, and the net ground of hexagonal mesh.
Sometimes the mesh is circular. The net ground is made of two
threads twisted twice on four sides and four threads plaited three times
on the two other sides. In this it differs from Brussels lace, whose
plait is longer and whose mesh is larger. The lace is made in one piece
upon the pillow, the ground being formed with the pattern. The very
finest thread is used, and a high degree of skill is necessary, so that the
resulting fabric is very costly. It is a filmy, beautiful and highly trans-
parent lace, and preserves for a very long time its distinguishing pecu-
liarity of a shiny thread or band surrounding the outlines of the sprigs
and dots of the design. The earliest Mechlin designs were very like
those of Brussels lace, though not so original and graceful ; but in this
respect later Mechlin laces showed marked improvement. The funda-
,-, I Lace: Its Origin and History.
mental difference between the two, however, was that Mechlin was
worked in one piece upon the pillow, while the Brussels pattern was
first made by itself, and the reseau or net ground was afterward worked
in around it. The manufacture of Mechlin has long been on the decline,
the French Revolution seriously injuring the industry; and when the
trade was revived and encouraged under Napoleon, the exquisite pat-
terns of former times had been partly forgotten or were too expensive
for popular demand. At the time of its highest popularity it was called
the Queen of Laces, sharing that title with the finest Alencon point.
Mechlin sometimes had an ornamental net ground called Fond du Neige,
and also a ground of six-pointed Fond Champ, but these kinds were
rare. It has always heen a very great favorite with the English, and
appears in most of their family collections of laces. There was a fine
collection of this lace at the Paris Exhibition of 1867 from Turnhout,
Belgium, as well as from other lace manufacturing centers.
Medici. — A name for a variety of modern torchon lace, whose dis-
tinguishing peculiarity is the insertion effect, the lace being very like
an ordinary insertion, with the exception of having one edge finished
with scallops. The Medici design is also characterized by plain, close-
woven work, the close work alternating in equal amount with the open-
work, the contrast between them heightening the effect.
Melange.— A heavy, black silk lace, distinguished by its mingling
of Spanish patterns with ordinary Chantilly effects. The edge is usu-
allv plain and straight, but is sometimes ornamented with a fine silk
Mignonette. — A light pillow lace, with an open ground resembling
tulle, made in narrow strips. It was one of the earliest of pillow laces,
and flourished greatly during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries. It was made of Lille thread, and the chief places of its manu-
facture were Arras, Lille and Paris, in France, and in Switzerland.
Mirecourt. — A lace made of detached sprigs upon a net made at
the same time with the pattern. In the seventeenth century it was a
French guipure lace of more delicate texture and varied design than
other guipures. Mirecourt, in the Department of the Vosges, and its
environs, were the center of the industry. The manufacture was begun
at an early date, and for centuries only hempen thread was used, the
result being a coarse guipure : but during the early part of the seven-
teenth century a finer lace of more delicate pattern was produced, and
it began to be exported in considerable quantities. Before the union of
Lorraine with France, in 17GG, there was less than 800 laceworkers in
Mirecourt, but in 1869 the number had increased to 25,000. During
the last century the French demand for this lace increased far beyond
the foreign demand, and it became desirable to produce a greater vari-
ety of pattern. This was done with great success by imitating the
best designs. Another recent improvement at Mirecourt is the making
of application flowers, and though these are not yet as finished as the
Brussels sprigs, they bid fair to supply the French market, so as to
make it to that extent independent of Belgium. The lace made at Mire-
court is mostly white. The work is similar in process and equal in qual-
ity to that of Lille and Arras.
Nanduti. — A lace made by the natives of Paraguay, Ecuador and
Peru, South America, from the soft, brilliant fiber of the agave plant.
It is made in silk or thread by a needle on a cardboard pattern. In
Peru and Ecuador it is also needle-made in the form of small squares
and united together.
Xeedle-poixt. — Real lace of any kind worked with a needle, on a
parchment pattern, and not with bobbins or on a pillow. The distinc-
tion between needle-point and bobbin-made, or pillow lace, is also illus-
trated by the solid part of the pattern, and also the ground of the for-
mer. In needle-point the solid parts are invariably made of rows of
buttonhole stitches, sometimes closely worked and sometimes with small
open spaces left in the patterns. The "brides" in needle-point consist
of one or two threads fastened across from one part of the pattern to
another, and then closely buttonholed over; it will be found, also, that
true needle-point is made with only one kind of stitch, the looped or
buttonhole stitch already mentioned, and that this is constant amid all
varieties of design in this kind of lace. Pillow lace, on the contrary,
has a "toile" made of threads crossing each other more or less at right
angles; its "brides" consist of twisted or plaited threads, and the
"picots" are simple loops, while the network ground of pillow lace is
of far greater variety than that of needle-point. In all kinds of pillow
lace the net groundwork is made by twisting and plaiting the threads,
sometimes in twos and sometimes in fours. Briefly speaking, the funda-
mental difference between needle-point and pillow lace is that the for-
mer is made with looped stitches throughout, while the latter is made
with twisted or plaited threads, which last is really weaving, though it
is done with bobbins and the hand instead of with the loom.
Oriental. — A lace made on the embroidering machine, which by
combined needle and shuttle action produces either simple or complex
designs upon netting. The action of the Schiffli machine somewhat
resembles that of a sewing-machine, and the product is more properly
called embroidery than lace. The openwork effects are produced either
by the action of chemicals upon the foundation material, or by the use
of the scissors. The threadwork results from the combined action of
the shuttle and needles. St. Gall, Switzerland, and Plauen, Saxony,
are the chief manufacturing centers for these laces, which include trim-
ming and border laces, curtains, bed sets, shams, and the like. In the
broad historical sense, Oriental laces and embroideries refer to the prod-
ucts of the East, especially to the Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Persian
and Turkish. All these were remarkable for the labor expended upon
5g Lace: Its Origin and History.
them, their great cost, and the originality and boldness of idea and
coloring which marked their design.
Ovaii. A guipure lace or openwork embroidery, made by means
of a hook in a fashion similar to crochet. The pattern is often elabo-
rate, and in silks of many colors, representing flowers, foliage, etc. It
is sometimes in relief.
Parchment. — Lace in whose manufacture parchment has been used,
whether in the pattern for the worker's guidance, or for stiffening the
fabric, as in Cartisane lace. In old accounts of laces, the term was
often applied to those made on the pillow to distinguish them from
needle-point laces, and it was derived from the pattern on which pillow
laces were worked.
Passement. — A term applied to the oldest class of pillow laces, at
a time when they were of comparatively simple construction, being little
more than open braids and gimps. This designation was in use until
the middle of the seventeenth century. The word is now applied to a
decorative edging or trimming, especially a gimp or braid. It is an
old French word, and in the country of its origin included in its mean-
ing both lace and embroideries. It has an interesting literary associa-
tion, having figured, under the slightly altered form of "passemens,"
in a satirical poem published at Paris in 1661. The poem, which is
entitled "La Revoke des Passemens," is dedicated to Mademoiselle de
la Trousse, a cousin of Madame de Sevigne, and was probably com-
posed by one of her literary friends. It is a protest against a sumptu-
arv law passed in the previous year to check the lavish expenditure on
laces imported from Venice and Italy, and is interesting as an account
of the best laces of that day, among which are 'Tointes de Genes, de
Raguse, de Yenise, d'Angleterre et de Flanders," as well as the "Gueuse"
of humbler pretensions. The various laces are supposed to revolt
against the law excluding them from France, and especially from their
place in the exalted society of the court. Mesdames les Broderies —
"Le Poinds, Dentelles, Passemens,
Qui par une vaine despence,
Ruinoient aujourd 'hui la France" —
call an indignation meeting. One of them hotly demands what punish-
ment shall be meted out to the court for such treatment —
"Dites moi je vous prie
Poincts, dentelles on broderies,
Qu'aurons nous done fait a la cour," etc.
Various laces speak their mind freely in reply, but most of them are
gloomy as to the future, while a few try to take a philosophical view of
the situation, and resign themselves to an humbler though still useful
fate. An English lace, "une Grande Dentelle d'Angleterre" answers
"Cet infortune sans seconde
Elle fait bien renoncer au monde
Pour ne plus tourner a tout vent
Comme d'entrer dans un Convent."
The laces of Flanders are not so submissive as that, being too vain
and ambitious for renunciation of the world and life in a convent, and
their angry opposition starts a little tempest of debate, fierce resolution
alternating with despair. A black lace in hopeless mood hires herself
out with a game merchant, for nets to catch snipe and woodcock. An
old gold lace, in grandmotherly style, tries to comfort the younger ones,
by reminding them of the vanity of the world. She knows all about it
— she, who has dwelt in king's houses. The Flanders laces cry out that
rather than give in they would sooner be sewn to the bottom of a petti-
coat. Some of tbe younger ones declare they must still have amuse-
ment, having had so much, and rather than renounce the world they will
Lace: Its Origin and History. 61
seek refuge in the masquerade shops. The point laces, with the excep-
tion of Aurillac, then resolve to go each to his own country, when sud-
denly the humble but plucky Gueuse lace, the lace of the common people,
arrives from a village near Paris and encourages the others to fight it
The next morning they all assemble and agree upon a plan of cam-
paign, but before doing so take stock of their qualifications and pros-
pects. Poinct d'Alencon has a good opinion of herself ; a Flanders lace
says she made two campaigns under the king, as a cravat ; another had
been in the wars under the great Marshal Turenne; another was torn
at the siege of Dunkirk ; and all had done something worth notice.
"What have we to fear?" asked an English lace. A Poinct de Genes, of
rather flabby character, advises the English lace to go slow. Finally
open war is declared, and the laces all assemble at the fair of St. Ger-
main to be reviewed by General Luxe. The muster roll is called by
Colonel Sotte Depense, and the various regiments and battalions march
forth to victory or death. But they got neither, for at the first approach
of the royal artillery they take to their heels, are captured and con-
demned to various punishments.
The gold and silver laces, the leaders of the rebellion, are sentenced
to the fate of Jeanne D Arc, to be burned alive ; the points are con-
demned to be made into tinder for the sole use of the King's Musketeers;
others are to be made into cordage or sent to the galleys. But pardon
is obtained through the good offices of cunning little Cupid — ''Le petit
dieu plein de finesse," and the rebels are restored to their former posi-
The poem illustrates the policy of most European governments at
that time, a policy of excluding foreign manufactures of all kinds; and
in the case of laces, the fear of encouraging wasteful habits among the
rich, who offered a tempting opportunity for royal extortion, was too
,;•_> Lace: Its Origin and History.
useful a pretence to be passed by. But all these efforts were fruitless
to discourage the growth of lacemaking. The passion for beauty in
personal adornment would not down. The engravings of Abraham
Bosse, which portray the dress and manners of that time, humorously
depict the despair of the fashionable lady over the prospect of giving up
her laces. She is represented as attired in plain hemmed linen cuffs,
collar and cap of Puritanical severity, bemoaning her sad fate, in heart-
breaking strains, as she sorrowfully packs away her rich lace-trimmed
costumes. Her sadness was not unduly prolonged. Colbert, the great
French statesman, saw that laces would be smuggled if they were legally
prohibited, that the rich would have them at any cost, so he encouraged
foreign lacemakers to come to France, and the manufacture was thus
Pillow. — Lace made on the pillow or cushion, both pattern and
mesh being formed by hand. See Needle-point lace.
Plaited.— A pillow lace of simple geometrical design, often made
of strong and stiff strands, such as gold thread or fine braid. The pat-
tern, besides being geometrical in design, is open, and has no grounds.
For ordinary purposes tinsel is used instead of real gold, and the lace
is then employed for theatrical purposes. Historically considered, the
plaited laces made of gold, silver or silk thread, took the place of the
Italian knotted laces of the sixteenth century. Those produced at Genoa
and in Spain were the best, and they are made in Spain to-day, chiefly
for church uses. The thread plaited laces of the seventeenth century
were used to trim ruffs and falling collars, but went out of fashion
when flowing wigs came in, as the latter hid the collar and would not
allow ruffs to be worn. At the present time plaited laces have become
known under the name of Maltese and Cluny, and are made at
Auvergne, in France, Malta, and in the English counties of Bedford-
shire and Buckinghamshire.
Plauen. — A name applied to any kind of lace made at Plauen,
Saxony, or elsewhere, upon the embroidering machine, such as Orien-
tal, tulle and chiffon lace, Point de Venise, Point d'Irlande. Plauen
led in the manufacture of this kind of lace, having- begun it in 1881,
from which year dates the importance of that city as a lace market.
The manufacture was gradually developed. Only the tulle variety of
embroidery lace was produced until 1886. The distinguishing feature
of this was that the hollow effects were made by opening the tulle
meshes by hand. Then, in 1886, an openwork process was invented
by which chemical action was employed to remove a woolen or silk
foundation from the cotton-embroidered pattern, or a cotton foundation
from a silk embroidery that had been worked on it. This made it
possible to form the pattern by the embroidery machine in the same way
as in the case of ordinary embroidery. The wool foundation, which is
necessary to be removed in finishing the goods, is dissolved by the
action of certain chemicals without changing the cotton or silk pattern.
In this way the most difficult and complicated patterns of real lace can
be imitated. Plauen manufacturers have for the most part taken the
old and costly hand-made laces of former times for their models ; but
they have also originated new and tasteful designs from time to time.
Point Applique. — Point lace whose design is separate from the net
ground, to which it is afterward applied. At the present time the net
ground is usually machine-made. The word "point," however, in this
connection, is of variable application, sometimes signifying Point Ap-
plique, and sometimes denoting lace, whether pillow or needle-point ;
that is, worked in sprays and laid upon a machine-net ground. (See
Point d'Alexc/ox. — See Alengon.
Poixt d'Axgleterre. — See English Point.
Poixt de Gaze. — A very fine, gauze-like lace, made entirely with the
Lace: Its Origin and History. 65
needle and grounded with its own net. Point de Gaze is the result of an
attempt of the Brussels lacemakers to return to the best early traditions
of needle-point. Point de Gaze differs, however, from the finest old
needle-point in certain respects, partly necessitated by modern taste in
design, and partly from the need of great economy in labor costs. For
example, the execution is much more open and delicate than in the early
lace of this description, but this very delicacy and slightness are made
use of to produce a very elegant effect. Part of the toile, or substance
of the pattern, is made in close and part in open stitch, giving an appear-
ance of shading, and the open parts are very tastefully ornamented with
dots. The result does not in all respects equal the softness and rich-
ness of the early lace, but if Point de Gaze seems thin and loose in com-
parison, and if the patterns seem less ideally beautiful, nevertheless the
later work has a unique lightness and delicacy to which the earlier lace
did not attain. It certainly is the most etherial and delicately beautiful
of all point laces. Its forms are not emphasized by a raise outline of
buttonhole stitching, as in Point d'Alengon and Point d'Argentan, but
are simply outlined by a thread.
Point de Gexe. — A name at present applied to a species of lace
made both in cotton and silk at St. Gall and Plauen, and recognized
by its regular net ground and large, open patterns in heavy stitchwork.
It is a popular trimming for women's dresses. Point de Gene, or
Genes, was originally one of the laces made at the city of Genoa and
in the surrounding country during the seventeenth century, both the
pillow and needle laces made there being deservedly famous. Gold
and silver thread and gold wire were used in the manufacture of the
earliest needle-point laces at Genoa, and the gold wire was drawn out
in exact imitation of the early Greek method. One of the best Genoese
laces resembles the early Greek points in patterns. There was also a
guipure lace, made from aloe fiber, as well as the knotted lace now
known as Macrame. The last named is the only lace at present made
in Genoa, and along the seaeoast.
Point d*Esprit. — A term applied to a small oval or square figure,
peculiar to certain varieties of early guipure, and ordinarily composed of
three short lengths of parchment or cord, placed side by side and cov-
ered with thread. These oval or square figures were most commonly
arranged in the form of rosettes. At present the term Point d'Esprit
denotes a much smaller solid or mat surface, used to diversify the net
ground of some laces. It is in the form of small squares that set at close
and regular intervals. In standard histories of lace the term is also
used as synonymous with embroidered tulle, made in Brittany, Denmark
and around Genoa.
Point dTrlande. — A coarse, machine-made imitation of real Vene-
tian point lace. It is popular for dress trimmings, and is manufactured
in a great variety of widths in cotton and silk. It has no net ground,
the patterns being united by brides.
Point de Milan. — A guipure lace with a small mesh ground, and
the pattern distinguished by striking scroll designs. The flowers in
the pattern of hand-made Point de Milan are flat, and have the appear-
ance of having been wrought in close-woven linen. Milan point was
made at the city of that name in 1493. Gold and silver thread were
first used, but the Milan points were finer than these, and fully equal
to the best Spanish and Venetian points.
Point de Paris. — Originally a narrow pillow lace, resembling Brus-
sels. The term is now generally applied to a machine-made cotton
lace of simple pattern and inferior quality. In its making a design
whose figures, such as flowers and leaves, are outlined with a heavy
thread, is worked upon a net ground. Point de Paris is distinguished
by the net, which is hexagonal in form.
Point de Venise. — See Venice Point.
6s Lace: Its Origin and History.
Point. — Same as Needle-point lace, made wholly by hand, with the
needle and a single thread.
Pot. — Lace whose pattern is distinguished by the figure of a vase
or deep dish, and sometimes by that of a basket containing flowers.
It is the best-known lace made at Antwerp, and was formerly in com-
mon use in that city for decorating women's caps. The vase and basket
figures vary much in size and design. Some have considered this pat-
tern to be a survival from an earlier design, including the figure of the
Virgin and the Annunciation, but this is not certain.
Powdered. — Lace whose ground is strewn with small, separate
ornaments, such as flowers, sprigs, or squares, like Point d'Esprit. The
term is applied also to whitened lace.
Renaissance. — A modern point lace, whose patterns are made of
narrow braid, and united by bars or filling of different kinds. It is
generally ornamented with circular figures and scroll-work, stitched in
place by needle and thread, the intervening spaces or groundwork,
being composed of a variety of fancy openwork. Irish Renaissance,
Luxeuii and Battenberg are the other names for this lace.
Rose Point. — See Venice Point.
Saxony. — Fine drawnwork embroidered with the needle, in much
demand in the eighteenth century. At the present time the term is
somewhat vague, denoting many kinds of laces made in Saxony, espe-
cially in imitation of old Brussels lace. Though the latter is the best
that is made, a coarse guipure lace, known as Etervelle, and plaited lace
has the greatest sale.
Rose Point. — See Venice Point.
Seaming. — A narrow openwork insertion, gimp or braiding, with
parallel sides, used for joining two breadths of linen, instead of sewing
them directly the one to the other. The name is given to a similar lace
used for edgings, as in the trimming of pillow-cases and sheets. Dur-
Lace: Its Origin and History. 69
ing the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries this lace was very popular,
though the name "seaming" was then applied to any kind of lace used
for a particular purpose — namely, to insert in the linen or other fabric
wherever a seam appeared, and often where no seam was really neces-
sary. The lace first used for this purpose was cut- work; then Hollie
point became fashionable, and afterward the custom grew to be so
common that cheaper laces were employed. There is still in existence
a sheet decorated with cut-work that once belonged to Shakespeare.
Silver. — A passement or guipure wholly or in large part com-
posed of silver wire, or of warp threads of silk, or silk and cotton
combined, wound with a thin, flat ribbon of silver. See Gold lace.
Spanish. — A general term applies to the following four different
kinds of lace: (a) Needle-point lace, brought from Spanish convents
after their dissolution, though the art of making it is thought by some
to have been learned in Flanders, (b) Cut and drawnwork made in
Spanish convents, of patterns usually confined to simple sprigs and
flowers, (c) A modern black silk lace with large flower patterns.
(d) A modern needle-made fabric, the pattern usually in large squares.
The machine-made black and white silk laces, with their flower pat-
terns, are from Lyons and Calais, France. Much could be said about the
uncertain application of the term "Spanish" in regard to certain kinds
of lace. It has often been inaccurately used. For instance, "Spanish
Point" and "Point d'Espagne" have been misapplied to Italian laces,
in the same way that "Point d'Angleterre" has been misapplied to
Brussels lace. In the four kinds of Spanish lace above enumerated, it
is noticeable that some are of Flemish origin. A lace known for cer-
tain to be of Spanish origin is a coarse pillow guipure made in white
thread and also of gold and silver. It is a loosely made fabric consist-
ing of three cordonnets, the center one being the coarsest, united by
finer threads running in and out across them, and with brides to join
^q Lace: Its Origin and History.
the parts of the pattern and keep them in shape. It is well known
that large quantities of lace that have the characteristics of raised
Venetian Point were used in Spain, both for court dresses and church
purposes, such as the ornamentation of vestments and altars. During
the invasion of Napoleon the churches and monasteries were pillaged
and the laces contained therein were scattered abroad and sold as being
of Spanish origin, though many of them were not.
The graceful Spanish headdress, the mantilla, has been chiefly made
in the province of Catalonia, out of black and white Blondes, but it is
inferior to a similar lace of French manufacture. The most celebrated
of the Spanish laces are the gold and silver fabrics, known as Point
d'Espagne, the Blonde laces and Spanish or Rose point. The first-
named is a very old lace, was known in Spain as early as the middle
of the fifteenth century, and is made with gold and silver threads, upon
which a pattern is embroidered in colored silk. The Blondes, which
have been already mentioned, have thick though graceful patterns
upon a light net ground. Rose point is wholly made with the needle
and is very like Venetian point, being considered, in fact, as a variety
of the latter. The close resemblance is accounted for by the fact that
this kind of lace was made by the inmates of religious houses, which
were transferred from one country to another at the will of their supe-
rior and carried with them the secret of a difficult art. The Rose
points, some of which are not raised, are formed with a pattern-worked
net in buttonhole stitches, the parts of the pattern being joined together
by brides. The raised Rose points are recognized by their thick cor-
donnet or outlining of the pattern.
Tambour. — Lace made with needle embroidery upon a machine-
made net, generally black or white Nottingham. It is chiefly made in
Ireland and commonly included among the Limerick laces.
Tape.— A lace made with the needle, except that a tape or narrow
Lace: Its OH pin and History.
strip of linen is wrought into the work and is the distinguishing feature
of the pattern. These plain or ornamented tapes or braids, arranged so
as to form the pattern, have always been peculiar to this kind of lace.
The patterns are connected together with either bride or net grounds.
The earliest were made with a bride ground and simple cloth stitch, but
gradually very elaborate designs were wrought as part of the braid-
like patterns and united by open-meshed grounds. In the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries the braid and tape laces included the large
majority of coarse pillow laces made in Flanders, Spain and Italy.
Thread. — Lace made from linen thread as distinguished from silk
and cotton laces. Black thread is a misnomer for Chantilly.
Torchon. — A coarse pillow lace made of strong, soft and loosely
twisted thread. In Europe it is known also as "Beggars' " lace, and the
old French Gueuse lace was similar to Torchon. The patterns gen-
erally are very simple and formed with a loose stout thread and the
ground is coarse net. Torchon is now also machine made.
Valenciennes. — A solid and durable pillow lace having the same
kind of thread throughout for both ground and pattern. Both the pat-
tern and ground are wrought together by the same hand, and as this
demands much skill in the manipulation of a great many threads and
bobbins, the price of Valenciennes is very high. The mesh of the
ground is usually square or diamond shaped, very open and of great
regularity. It is a flat lace, worked in one piece, and no different kind
of thread is introduced to outline the pattern or to be wrought into any
part of the fabric. This affords a ready means of distinguishing the
hand-made variety of this lace. The Valenciennes now made is not so
beautiful in design and construction as the fabric of an earlier date,
especially in the latter part of the eighteenth century. It is usually of
narrower width and is easier to learn how to make.
Valenciennes was first made at the town of that name, which,
though originally Flemish, was transferred to France by treaty; and
the manufacture at this town was carried on under conditions which
assured the superiority of the lace produced there. The difference
between the Valenciennes product and that of other towns could be
detected by the softer "feel" in the former case, because the moist climate
of Valenciennes gave a smoother action to the bobbins when used in
manufacture; and it is interesting to note that the lace was made in
underground rooms. These peculiarities earned for lace made in that
town the name of Vraie Valenciennes, and it brought a higher price
than the Valenciennes of the surrounding villages. The thread was
spun from the finest flax. To buy a yard of a flounce or a pair of broad
ruffles was a serious matter for the purchaser unless he was wealthy.
The labor cost was high even in those days of low wages; from 300
to 1,200 bobbins were required in a piece of fine work. The history of
the changes in Valenciennes patterns is, to some extent, a history of
deterioration in elegance of design. The first patterns were exquisitely
beautiful, the designs often being wrought in grounds that were varied
in several ways even in one piece. The designs afterward became sim-
pler, and octagon and hexagon ineshes came to take the place of the close
grounds of earlier manufacture. Since 1780 the lighter and less expen-
sive laces of Lille, Brussels and Arras have partly ousted the more beau-
tiful, costly and durable product of Valenciennes, while changes in mod-
ern dress have stopped the demand for some articles which were formerly
among the fashionable mainstays of the industry ; for example, men's
The French Revolution practically destroyed lacemaking at Valen-
ciennes, and the industry was transferred to Belgium. The lace pro-
duced there was, however, given the name of False Valenciennes.
Alost, Bruges, Ypres, Ghent, Menin and Courtrai became centers of
the manufacture, and the lace made in each town had a distineuishino-
74 Lace: Its Origin and History.
feature in the ground. For example, the Client ground is square
meshed, the bobbin being twisted two and one-half times. At Ypres,
the ground is square meshed, but the bobbins are twisted four times.
In Courtrai and Menin, the bobbins are twisted three and a half times,
and in Bruges three times. As an illustration of the fact that the
making of old Valenciennes is a lost art, it is interesting to note that the
last important piece of work executed within that town was a headdress
presented by the town to the Duchesse de Nemoms on her marriage in
L840. The headdress was made by old women, the few real Valen-
ciennes laceworkers then surviving, with the praiseworthy and patriotic
object of showing the perfection of the product of former days. There
are several machine-made varieties of Valenciennes. English Valen-
ciennes is chiefly made at Nottingham; it is also called Piatt and Nor-
mandy Valenciennes. It is an imitation of the early hand-made lace,
to the extent of having a similar diamond-meshed ground. Its pattern
is without relief, and the threads of which it is made are no heavier than
the ground. French Valenciennes is made mostly at Calais. Its pattern
is usually outlined by a stouter thread than that forming the ground,
and it has a finer finish and softer "feel" than the English Valenciennes ;
in fact, it is an excellent imitation of the real. Italian Valenciennes is
a narrow, fine-threaded lace, used for trimming fine underwear.
Venice Point. — A needle-point lace made at Venice during the first
half of the seventeenth century. It is somewhat difficult to apply the
name exclusivelv to any one of the several varieties of Venetian point
made at that time; but Venetian Raised point, whose pattern is of large,
beautifully designed flowers in decided relief and united by brides or
liars, is commonly called Venetian point. Other names applied to this
kind of lace are Rose point, Venetian Flat point, Carnival lace, Car-
dinal's point, Pope's point, and Point d'Espagne. These names simply
register the various changes of style and manufacture in the history of
Lace: Its Origin and History.
this lace. With the exception of Point d'Espagne, which has a less
valid claim to he called Venetian point than the others, the various
names given serve roughly to suggest the distinction between three sep-
arate stages in point of style and date of the fabric known broadly as
"Punto tagliato a foliani," or Venetian point. They are generally given
as follows: (1) Venetian Raised point, or Gros Point de Venise, under
which is included Rose point; (2) Venetian Flat point, or Point Plat de
Venise, with its later variety, known as Coraline point; (3) Grounded
\ enetian point, or Point de Venise a Reseau, which includes Burano
point, so called from the island near Venice, where it was made. With
regard to Raised point, it is worth noting, in addition to the character-
istics already referred to, that the flower design is of a freedom and
continuity that make the pattern so filling that there is very little space
left for the ground, the bridework merely serving to hold the pattern
strongly together. The cordonnet, or outlining thread, is unusually
prominent, and the raised part is no less remarkable for its boldness in
design than for its delicate workmanship. An Italian poet has described
this work as "sculptured in relief." In Raised point the skill of the lace-
worker was informed by the instinct for beauty in such a degree as to
produce one of the highest types of the art. Rose point resembles
Raised point in all essential features, the only difference being that the
designs are smaller and the ornamentation more abundant. The pattern
is less filling and the connecting brides more prominent.
Flat Venetian point is marked by an absence of the prominent raised
work, the designs are more attenuated, and the brides are altogether
more prominent than in the Raised point. Coraline point is a variety of
Flat point, which must be considered a deterioration in design on
account of its ill-connected and irregular pattern, which was originally
supposed to imitate a branch of coral. There is no raised work, the
ground meshes are ill-arranged and ill-shaped, and on the whole this
Lace: Its Origin and History. 77
lace marks the decadence of an art formerly almost perfect. It is more
like an imitation of a free growth of plants, the tangled growth of a
state of nature, as compared with the order and beauty of art. The
grounded point, the last stage of development of Venetian lace, began to
be made to supply the markets of France after the fine old Venetian
point had been excluded by protective laws. The Venetian lacemakers
then adopted the reseau or net ground made at Alencon. The ground
is composed of double twisted threads, and has a rounder mesh than
Alencon, and there is no outlining cordonnet. In this variety of Vene-
tian point, which was produced during the latter half of the eighteenth
century, the pattern is not so well arranged as in others, and there is a
redundancy of ornamentation. The manufacture of Venetian point is
now almost extinct. The machine-made variety, produced on the Schiffli
embroidery frame, is now made at Plauen and St. Gall. (See Plauen lace.)
Yak. — A stout, coarse pillow lace, made from the fine wool of
the Yak. The patterns are of simple, geometrical design, connected
with plaited guipure bars that form part of the pattern, being made out
of the same threads at the same time. The term is also applied to a
machine-made worsted lace, produced in black, white and colors. It
is used as a trimming for undergarments, shawls and petticoats.
Ypres. — A pillow lace resembling Valenciennes, but sometimes with
bolder designs and rather large lozenge or square mesh in the ground ;
also a type of Valenciennes.