HNW - Hardanger acacia at
Mon Oct 20 07:08:07 PDT 1997

Greetings Eowyn

Just so happens that I have been in the library today doing some work on
just this thing - to my knowledge hardanger stitches were starting to emerge
around the beginning of the 16century with some authors putting the start of
this needlelace as early as the mid 15century.  Although this is difficult
to verify which stitches they were using from the paintings as they did not
supply closeups. (damm!)
Certainly they reached a wide spread popularity in the mid 16c.

Most books seem to show a progression from the pulled thread works through
to the cut thread work which is the basis for hardanger.  The style is quite
different from the modern day stylised form which you are familiar with and
although made up of the needleweaving stitches used in hardanger, they are
often not refered to as being this form of embroidery.  Period examples seem
to follow the pattern books of the time and you need to look close to
recognise the work as being hardanger as we know it. There is a number of
surviving examples which have very little of the ground fabric left and look
very similar to bobbin or needlelace.

If you are interested I would suggest that you look up Lace History books -
which should be fairly easily available, there are a number of 16c pieces
surviving as well as excellent detailed portraits which show the lace both
on the dress and on accessories and table covers. 

have fun - oh if you need some book references e-mail me at my address below

Acacia d'Navarre (Chris d'Aquino)
St Florian-della-Riviere, Lochac, West Kingdom (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)
Acacia at


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