Tagged ‘Honiton’

Of birds, and lace

February 17th, 2008 by Jill Hall

The bird on the blog header is indeed the same as the bird on the jacket, as Mary says in the comments. The bird on the jacket will be a little smaller, though, and the stitches may be a little different. Since we traced and Tricia worked that sample we’ve received more detailed photos of the original. Last I talked with Tricia about the bird she was musing that there might be something more interesting and complicated going on than she’d first thought. She has to study the photos some more, and maybe consult with Ms North at the V&A. I can’t wait to see what she finds out. Of course we’ll share with you too.

robbin workingSpeaking of sharing, tonight I have pictures of Robbin (of the laptop donation) and one of her treasures. Robbin brought in the piece of antique Honiton lace that was her wedding veil.Honiton

I learned that Honiton lace takes its name from the place in the west of England where it has been traditionally made. Honiton is worked in pieces or motifs and sewn to a net ground. Long ago the net was made by hand, but the piece Robbin has dates from around 1900 and the net is likely machine made. Robbin explained that Honiton was made by the cottage system, where workers made individual lace motifs which were then put together to make big pieces of lace. A worker might make one motif, the small flower with leaves perhaps, over and over and over and over.

Robbin bought this piece of lace intending it for her veil and then shopped for a dress to go with it, like the dedicated textile lover she is. Here’s a detail of the veil.

Robbin also brought her lace pillow with her sample lace still affixed. She thought I would like to see it that way, and take pictures for the blog. She was right. I was fascinated to see the lace on the pricking with some of the pins still in, and the bobbins still attached. Robbilaceonpillown was careful to mention that these bobbins are not the kind recommended for working the sample, but she has lots of them and not lots of the recommended (Dutch) kind. They worked tolerably well, she thought, and was willing to put up with their drawbacks as it was less trouble than hunting up enough pairs of the other.

These are the lace bobbins with spangles – bobbin spangles, not the kind of spangles that will be worked into the lace. Yeesh, this is confusing.

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