Varieties of Lace

If you’re a lace enthusiast this delicate fabric has existed for centuries. Either made by machine or by hand, lace is a fabric of either yarn or thread. It was originally made from linen, silk, silver, or gold threads. However, now lace is often made from cotton thread. Manufacture lace is also available which may use synthetic fibers. Today, modern artists may even choose copper or silver wire. However, no matter what the materials, there are many varieties of lace. In fact, dozens of varieties exist. To get an idea of the types, these are the primary varieties of lace. The classification for each type depends on how the lace is made.

Needle Lace

Needle lace is a category for many types of lace including Venetian Gros Point. This lace is made with a needle and thread. Needle lace is actually one of the more flexible varieties. Needle lace purists view this as the height of lace making. In fact, historians looking at the history of fabric have found antique needle laces made from a very fine style of thread that is not made today. Very often time consuming, this style could also be made faster than some types of bobbin laces.

Bobbin Lace

Just like its name suggests, bobbin lace is made with bobbins and a pillow. The bobbins are usually wood or plastic and hold the lace threads. The thread is woven together and held in place with pins that are stuck in the pattern on the pillow. The pillow used is not actually meant for sleeping. It usually contains straw or styrofoam. This style of lace may also be known as Bone-lace since bobbins historically could be made of bone as well. Chantilly lace is a variety of bobbin lace.

Tape Lace
This style of lace may either be made by machine or by hand. As the lace is being made, the textile strip is formed into a design. Then, the piece is finished by joining and embellishing with bobbin lace.

Crocheted Lace
Crocheted lace involves using a crochet hook and the maker’s desired choice of threads. Some of the notable styles in this category include Irish, pineapple, and filet.
Knotted Lace
Macrame and tatting are both styles of knotted lace. Like the name suggests, knotted lace involves using a variety of knots to achieve the unique designs and textures. For the specific tatting style, this lace is made with a tatting needle.

Knitted Lace
The best example for knitted lace is Shetland lace. The style is very fine and difficult to make.

Machine-Made
This style of lace can actually be almost any of the other styles mentioned. However, it simply refers to lace which has been created by mechanical means. Today, machine-made lace is extremely detailed and often difficult to recognize as being different than hand-made pieces.
Chemical Lace
This is a style where the stitching area is completed using embroidery threads. After finishing, the stitching areas are removed, leaving only the embroidery behind. The ground is usually made of up a water-soluble material which can be dissolved by soaking in water.
These are a few of the primary styles of lace. Lace enthusiasts may already know some of these varieties as they are available in specialty and finishing shops.

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