Back to Lace-Making

June 27, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Posted in Lace | 4 Comments

As an expected and very welcome side effect of my vacation exploits looking at lace in Belgium I’ve been back at my lace pillow that had sat unloved in a corner for several years.

Having found over time that I have no use for lace doilies, and keeping the art stuff to quiltmaking mostly, what do you do? Quite a while ago I decided to just make lengths of lace, just like the ones that would have been used for decorating all kinds of things back when machine lace wasn’t invented. I’ve used some of those strips in my lace quilt (there’s one at number 10 in this post), and there was another one on the pillow, which I finished fairly quickly, because I needed the pillow for a new project:

Bobbin Lace Strip Bobbin Lace Strip - Detail

It’s not quite one meter long (which is usually my goal for these strips), and I wanted to practice working with a single thicker thread as accent here.

So, that being out of the way, what’s the new project? Looking through the lace books available in my library’s catalogue, I found a little gem of a book about Flanders lace. It is the German version of Vlaanderse Kant by J.E.H. Rombach-de Kievid. Looking at the internet, this book doesn’t seem to have been translated into English.

This image from the wikipedia article shows pretty much exactly the pattern that’s currently on my pillow:

Flanders-bean” by Poljo – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Another interesting thing I noticed travelling was just how unusual the lace-making setup I grew up with seems to be. I learnt making bobbin lace in the Erzgebirge region, and everybody there had cylindrical pillows mostly suited to making strips of lace. This is how mine looks like:


In Belgium and England I exclusively saw flat pillows, and smaller bobbins where the thread is wound at the front part. My bobbins have the thread at the back, protected by that dark brown sleeve that slides over the bobbin. There was a cylindrical pillow just like mine shown in the entry area of the Kantcentrum in Brugge, and when I asked the lady there about it she said she believes it came from Spain. Interesting. Off to practice some more Flanders lace!



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  1. I am fascinated with this lace making. Where do you get the items to make lace?

    • If you’re outside established lace making centres, it’s pretty hard to get the equipment, I think. In my home town the normal needlework shops carry the necessary things, but then it’s traditional there and therefore there’s a market.
      In the Belgian lace making towns I visited it was similar. Where I’m currently living? Not much of a chance, although the community college does have some courses and I think the teacher must have ways to get equipment … most likely through online shops nowadays.

      • Thanks. That’s probably why I haven’t seen them before.

  2. […] the weather not being very cooperative right now, I got the chance to finish another project carried over from last year […]

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