Thursday, 6 September 2018

Filet lace stitches

I bought an interesting little piece of filet lace in Bruges recently which includes quite a variety of stitches. The central motif shows darning or linen stitch overlaid with leaves, which are worked in a similar way to bobbin lace ones by running a long thread the length of the leaf shape, catching it in the linen stitch and then back to the centre again and then weaving over and under, across the two threads, to form the leaf shape. There is an explanation of how to do it in Therese de Dillmot’s little encyclopaedia of needlework. There is also some simple outlining, to form a gimp around the central petal shapes, although it doesn’t follow the outline of the linen stitch very accurately! The central motif is ringed by loop stitch in a finer thread which is worked in one direction by looping the thread over the square meshes leaving a loop between stitches which is then worked through on the return journey in the opposite direction. You can also see some star shapes in the photo which are made by loping the thread round the square mesh in a lazy daisy fashion. I was also intrigued to see that the ends of the threads are knotted off quite crudely in places – I suspect the worker was being paid piece rates and was hoping no one would be laundering the finished mat so it wouldn’t unravel.

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