Wednesday 30 September 2020

Pillow lace by Mincoff and Marriage

Having recently revisited and blogged (12 August 2020) about the lace books written by the Tebbs sisters I have been browsing other early twentieth century bobbin lace instruction books on my bookshelf. Elizabeth Mincoff and Margaret Marriage published their book in 1907 as a result of learning how to make Torchon lace on a holiday in Freiburg but finding on their return to England that there were few patterns or instruction available. The book is quite comprehensive with chapters on equipment, history and design as well as clear instructions on how to make a series of lace designs. They explain that, unlike some other authors, they have not used codes or symbols in their instructions but instead rely on clear diagrams and short explanations. They begin with some ‘Russian’ or tape lace patterns with simple instructions and pleasing results, which only require a few pairs of bobbins on the pillow so are ideal starting pieces (the image shows the first three pieces taught in the book). They then progress to Torchon patterns requiring more bobbins and then move on to Maltese and plaited laces. The book is written as a course and it is suggested that the reader works through the chapters sequentially. The Tebbs sisters also start the beginner off on tape lace which I did think was a good choice as it is fairly easy to achieve good results with it, which is encouraging for the student, and also easy to understand the design method for those who want to produce their own patterns.

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