Wednesday 22 May 2024

Plauen lace collars


These lovely lace collars are advertised in a 1904 catalogue from the Peach lace company and are both labelled as Plauen lace, a town in Saxony known for its embroidered lace. The lace was embroidered in a type of lock stitch, using a Schiffli embroidery machine, onto a net background or other backing material which was then removed leaving only the stitched lace behind. Between 1881 and 1905 various patents were taken out describing types of backing fabrics and methods for removing them. In Britain the general term for lace produced in this way was chemical lace and most was imported from Switzerland and Saxony.

The lace was popular at the end of the nineteenth and into the twentieth century. It produced a good imitation of handmade lace and was reasonably priced for middle-class customers. The collar at the top was 8.5 inches deep and cost 3/9 while the lower collar was 7.75 inches deep and cost 2/9. It was also hard wearing and easy to launder so would have been easy to keep clean, and was therefore a practical as well as a beautiful lace.

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