Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Machine made lace

Since my research into net curtains started I have become interested in machine made lace, both the mechanics of its production and the beautiful lace that results. The image above is part of a panel showing Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square and what I like about it is the clever way the shading and depth of design are achieved (which I hope you can see - the image looked fine on the computer but not so good in this post). Most of the information I have gleaned so far comes from the books and research carried out by Pat Earnshaw. From her I discovered that the Nottingham Lace Curtain Machine which produces not only curtains but other large scale lace furnishings, such as bedspreads and tablecloths, was invented by John Livesey in about 1846. The feature of this type of lace is its ability to produce large pieces of lace and its straight sided mesh as opposed to the hexagonal mesh of the Leavers lace machine. By 1851 there were 100 curtain lace machines in operation in the Nottingham area and many lovely curtains were displayed at the Great Exhibition in London that year. My next step is to find out how they achieve that lovely shading.

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