Thursday, 4 June 2015

Mounting lace

When I first started making traditional lace, great importance was put on how the lace was mounted onto fabric – usually a handkerchief or mat centre – with good reason, as bad mounting could ruin a lovely piece of lace. I remember the intricate steps required, including aligning the fabric and lace by removing a thread from the material, pinning, and tacking. Then the delicate stitching, using, for example, three-sided stitch, followed by the nerve wracking task of cutting away the excess fabric as close as possible to the stitching without cutting through it. Although I enjoy hand stitching I never found mounting lace very relaxing and was never entirely happy with the results. I was thinking about this mounting process as I was making my most recent piece of lace incorporating lace, fabric and silk paper. In this case I’m attaching the lace to the fabric using a simple oversewing stitch on the edge of the lace. When I’ve finished the sewing, I will remove the excess fabric by cutting it away about 1 cm from the stitching. For this hanging I am trying to represent the idea of the fabric becoming silted up with dust and turning into paper. Therefore I don’t want a formal join between the lace and the fabric, but to give the impression that they are all merging into one another. I also have the advantage that the lace will not be laundered so I’m not worried about the fabric fraying; it just has to look good on display. At the end of the day, I guess mounting is just about attaching the lace in the most appropriate way and if you do it well no one should notice it and instead just focus on the lace.

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