I’ve been reading Arthur Silver’s fascinating 1893 advice on designing Nottingham lace curtains. He is discussing the type of panel curtains popular at the time that were designed to be hung without gathering. These curtains are composed of a centre panel as well as side and bottom borders, and he shows how these elements can be joined directly together or separated by insertions. The border can also be edged with another very narrow border, called the ‘outer guard’. He notes that the centre panel can be designed symmetrically with a ‘fold’ down the centre or can be a freer design and also says that the two side borders need not be the same design or even the same width. It all seems much freer than I was expecting. He also suggests various subjects for suitable designs including copies of handmade lace and floral designs, but recommends maintaining a light and airy effect rather than a severe style because ‘in lace you must be fanciful and delicate in treatment’ – excellent advice!