Lace. Ornamental and transparent fabric that is handmade and adorned with embroidery.


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  • 1 History
    • 1 Origin
  • 2 Lace Points
  • 3 Classification of lace
  • 4 Preferred threads
  • 5 Sources
  • 6 External Link


It is called lace because at first, it used to be made between the edges of two parallel strips of canvas, as if it were a work fitted between them, and it was also called randa, from the German rand (edge ​​or edge) because it usually borders another piece . For this same reason, and for ending in peaks or dentellones, it is also known by the name of points or lace (in French, dentelles) although this name is applied in Spain only to small and dented lace.


The historical origin of the lace is generally set in the mid-16th century and it is assumed that it was born in Venice . In ancient times, embroidery could be made on transparent fabrics, as well as on bushy pieces and even embellished trimmings were formed, all of which there are signs and news and thus the history of lace is confused with that of embroidery.

Although some authors think that they did not exist until the 15th century , but it has been shown that they were done previously, dating back to ancient times. The names “points”, “randas” and “lace” did appear at that time, and therefore there are no references reflected in documents under that name previously.

Lace and embroidery were originally confused, both being included in the handrails. According to Carmen Baroja de Caro, in Spain, gold, silver and silk lace were generally called handrails, and randa points were those of white thread, sometimes mixed with colored and metal threads.

The term lace is curious for the various meanings it has. It is applied in the graphic arts , the economy , heraldry and in other modalities that are very foreign to fashion, however, it is part of it and constitutes a fabric formed by a reticulated background on which work and figures are formed, forming a drawing .

Lace stitches

  • Venice Point. It was the first known in the markets of Europe and the one that had the most influence in the workshops.
  • Mechelen Point. Flanders Point flourished in Mechelen. It is distinguished by its round or hexagonal hole meshes and by its natural flowers and leaves that are edged with a thicker thread but without reliefs. It was also made in Antwerp and Leuven and with thicker yarn and worse mesh in Arras and Lille.
  • Alenzón point or France point. Since the sixteenth century, lace was worked in various towns in France but since 1665 the workshops of Alençon prevailed, imitating Venice . It differs from it in giving more precision and naturalness to the drawing.
  • Colbert Point. So called in memory of the minister of Louis XIV, Juan B. Colbert, who so favored these industries in France since 1661, a point that had great development in Alenzón and other French cities. It is characterized by the great relief of his drawings.
  • Brussels Point. It is characterized by the fineness of the thread that comes from a special linen and the tendency to naturalness in the figures and plant motifs.

Lace classification

All lace are classified into two groups: needle and bobbin.

  • The needle guides a single thread from one point to another with an essential element: the scallop point. In the bobbins, various threads run without interruption throughout the lace, coiled to intersecting sticks (bobbins), fastening them to a pad with pins and working on a pattern. In the bolillos movement dominates; at the needle, the gentle and limited.
  • The bobbin lace consists of very fine threads to which, at the ends, some wooden spindles are placed to handle them; while in the Guipure the fabric is a bottomless mesh.

In the lace two constituent elements of it: the drawing or embroidery that offers a geometric shape in its beginnings and tends more to the interpretation of natural fauna or flora, from the 17th century . The network on which the previous one stands out consists of a set of flanges that connect the drawings to each other, which in many cases form a true network of four or six sides. But sometimes the connecting threads become so short that the drawings touch each other, leaving openwork spaces without flanges.

Preferred threads

The preferred threads for lace are always silk and linen for their finesse and resistance, and only cotton or equivalent is used for very vulgar lace or lace. With them, sometimes, some silver or gold threads are joined to enhance the drawing. Silk lace is called lace (from the German blond, blond), because at the beginning of its manufacture in France, it used to be yellow.


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