Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Pat Earnshaw’s lace research


I’ve been doing quite a lot of writing about lace over the lockdown and am constantly grateful for the amazing research carried out by Pat Earnshaw in her beautifully illustrated books on lace. Although there are numerous books on handmade laces and their identification there are few books for the general reader on machine made lace and it is here that Pat’s books are invaluable. Her book ‘Lace machines and machine laces’ gives very clear descriptions of the workings of the main types of lace machines, their history and development. While her book on ‘How to recognise machine laces’ is excellent for revealing how to distinguish handmade and machine made laces – often through very subtle signs such as the construction of the picots edging a piece of lace. Her books on the identification of handmade laces and her book on lace fashions are also highly readable and packed with useful research but it is the ones on machine lace that I’ve been using most recently. I see from the flyleaf of one of my books that she graduated from Reading University and as well as qualifying as a teacher she was also a lace consultant to three prestigious London auction houses. A very talented woman who I for one am very grateful to.

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