Wednesday 15 November 2023

Cell lace from Plauen


I came across a short article about cell lace in a 1920 edition of The lace and embroidery review and was intrigued to find out what it was. It seems to have been an initiative by the Plauen lace manufacturers to produce a new type of lace suitable for the post-war period. The main idea seems to have been to create ‘as much lace with as little material as possible’. The article states that lace manufacturers can no longer make the type of lace they produced before the war because that lace requires more material than the industry can now afford. This aim to produce more cost-effective lace seems to be related to a scarcity of raw materials and a consequent rise in prices. The lace and embroidery review was a trade publication and this new type of lace design would have been of interest to manufacturers and lace retailers. The article notes that the designers aimed to create a machine-made lace that would be almost as good as handmade lace ‘regarding artistic value and technical production’ while keeping costs down, basically ‘a lace whose artistic merit would appeal to the select and whose price to the multitude’. The lace shown in the image was designed in the Richard Roeder studio and it is in keeping with the new styles of lace proving popular in Europe and America. However, I have never heard of cell lace so perhaps the term did not catch on or it was just a name used in the manufacturing trade and not by consumers.

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