Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Filet lace design book

I was lucky recently to buy a lovely book of filet lace designs. It’s called ‘Le filet ancient au point de reprise’ and it was published in Paris; unfortunately it isn’t dated but filet lace became popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It is obviously one of a series and no instructions are given so the purchaser was expected to know how to work the designs. The information about how to make the net and work the reprise stitch used for all the designs could have been obtained from books on domestic crafts, many of which were available at the time. However, there are recommendations for the type of thread required to make the net and carry out the embroidery, depending on the number of squares required per centimetre. I’ve come across several of these design folios and they show how popular filet lace was. The designs can also be used for cross stitch and indeed any craft work based on a system of linked squares. The image shows how complicated some of these designs were and also how well the designers have achieved flowing lines even when working on a rigid grid format.

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