Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Fancy bobbin nets in machine lace


I recently bought a leaflet about machine laces from the 1960s and was interested to find out more about bobbin net. Plain nets are produced in many different mesh styles and finishes and can be made in cotton, silk or nylon. This makes net a versatile fabric which can be fine and diaphanous for something like a bridal veil or firm and crisp for a stiff petticoat. I love the image that accompanies the article showing a nylon net bridal outfit by Duprez et Cie of London (see image above). I knew that bobbin nets were often embroidered and in fact the early machine laces were all made this way before the development of the jacquard patterning system, but I knew less about fancy nets. I have now discovered three different types of fancy bobbin nets. Point d’esprit is a spot net made by basically making regular filled single holes in the fabric. Flock printed bobbin net is made by printing a design onto plain net using a lacquer rather a textile dye then blowing a powdery substance, known as flock, which is made up of particles of acetate over the surface. When the lacquer has dried the excess flock is blown away leaving the pattern as a raised velvety pile on the surface of the net. The third type are known as jewel nets and are made in the same way as flock nets but metallic particles are blown on to the lacquer instead of flock. The article reports that silver and gold patterns are very effective on black net but sadly provides no images.

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