Thursday 9 February 2023

Limerick run lace fillings


One of the beautiful features of Limerick run lace is the lovely filling stitches that are used to add shading and depth to the main designs. This delicate little curtain includes several flower and leaf motifs interspersed with individual flower heads. This type of lace is made by embroidering machine made net, held taught within a frame, using a needle and thread. The main design is outlined in three strands of thread and the filling stitches are then worked inside those areas.

These three leaves are filled with tent stitch; a series of diagonal stitches worked across the underlying lace net. The leaf on the right has been worked at a different angle to the other two, giving a different appearance to the leaf.

Cobweb stitch has been used to fill these three leaves. This is made by zigzagging the thread to form a shape like the crenellations on a castle wall. If the rows of stitches are worked as a mirror image of each other, as they have been here, the finished work gives the appearance of a series of tiny holes.

The final three leaves have been filled with a variation on tent stitch in which the main stitch is elongated and an extra small stitch made between each of the main stitches. The three filling stitches described here just reveal a sample of the many filling stitches that can be used and give an idea of the range of effects that can be produced in this lovely lace.

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