Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Working Carrickmacross lace

I’ve been doing some Carrickmacross lace on my Battle of Britain lace panel which has made me appreciate the skill of the person who made this lovely piece from the UCA Textile archive. Having worked some of this lace I realise that cutting round the fabric shapes once they’ve been sewn down, without cutting the net underneath, is one of the most difficult parts of the technique. However, you soon get used to the feel of the fabric being cut. I found that if I used my nail to stretch the fabric above the net it was easier to cut and ‘gave’ as I cut it away, which made it easier to distinguish fabric and net. I also realised that the placement of the grain of the fabric was important too as some of the shapes are very small and tend to come away from the sewn edge if they aren’t placed and cut on the grain. The fabric I’ve used also seems to be more open than in traditional examples, which gives it a very lace-like appearance, but makes it less stable when its cut. I’m very impressed that in this beautiful example from the archive the fabric is cut very closely to the sewn edge and has worn so well without unravelling.

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