Book Review — The Art of Modern Lace-Making

January 26, 2008 at 9:27 pm | Posted in Book Review, Lace | Leave a comment

So, while nothing much is going on around here that I could show you, here’s another look at the contents of Project Gutenberg’s Crafts Bookshelf. The Art of Modern Lace-Making explains how to make the kind of lace called “Irish Lace” in the Encyclopedia of Needlework. The basic idea of these kinds of laces is to use different woven braids for the pattern and fill in the forms built out of those braids with decorative stitches.

The book, printed in New York in 1891, consists mainly of examples of lace designs. At the beginning there is a short introduction about the history of lace-making, which seems to have more legend than fact in that regard. Following is a description of the different lace stitches, accompanied by illustrations of the techniques employed. The different types of braid commercially available at that time are shown next, before the main section of the book starts.

This section has short descriptions of different projects, each with an illustration. There are lots of lace projects, and a short section about darned net at the end of the book. Here’s an example of the type of projects shown:

Art of Modern Lace Making

Some projects are just shown as a pattern, not as a finished project, like this butterfly:

Art of Modern Lace Making - Butterfly Pattern

And here’s an example of the darned net work introduced at the end of the book:

Art of Modern Lace Making - Darned Net

Overall it’s really a fun book to look at, although of limited practical use nowadays, since it’s nearly impossible to get the materials needed to try out some of the stuff shown.

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