Wednesday, 12 October 2022

Lingerie lace

Recently, a friend sent me some samples of machine made lace that her mother bought in Nottingham market in the 1970s and they are a lovely snapshot of the lace available at the time. I’m just showing a few here but I think they are all made for the lingerie industry. This was a time when women and girls wore petticoats, slips and vests as well as bras and knickers so there was plenty of scope for lace embellishment. The scalloped lace on the left would have been used on a bra as it can easily be cut to fit on a variety of cup sizes. The fine black lace would have made a lovely trim for a petticoat or slip. The straight white lace is an insertion, a type of lace which could have been used to join two pieces of fabric forming a beautiful transparent band of lace between them. The apricot coloured lace on the right is designed to include a ribbon slotted along its length so could be used as a strap for a petticoat or vest or could also be used as a trim without the ribbon.

These dainty white edgings are all laces that could be used to trim any type of lingerie. The two at the top both mimic traditional Buckinghamshire handmade bobbin lace styles and could be used to edge women’s or girls’ underwear. The lower three samples are all elasticated but are a little too narrow to be straps so were probably used as trims on vests and knickers attached to fabrics that needed to be flexible. All these laces were made on the Raschels lace machine apart from the black lace which was made on the Levers machine. This difference in production methods is also an interesting thread that I’ll blog about another time. Who would have thought that a bundle of lace off cuts from the market would prove to be so interesting.

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