HNW - lacis vs. filet crochet for Victorian

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at
Sat Jul 3 11:24:18 PDT 1999

>< So for Victorian decorating stick with the crochet version, as many
>actual Victorians did.  It looks almost as nice, takes WAY less time, and
>there's no puzzling out where the threads go next. >
>For doing just smple reprise stitch I have to disagree-- I think it's much
>faster to do that than filet crochet, since the net background is already
>made. I think that if I find cloth stitch too annoying then filet would
>work better and probably faster.

The time you might save with crochet would be the time taken threading your
needle each time.  I find this takes a lot of my time when doing other
kinds of embroidery.  

><I think crochet isn't as fragile as lacis in situations where it will take
>a lot of wear, like antimacassars and curtains.  It also has the virtue of
>being machine washable, where I'd be afraid to run real lacis thru the
>washer and dryer.  >
>Yes, but I have no aversion to hand washing -- a lot of my garb is washed
>by hand and I have no problem with that. Modern people seem to demand that
>absolutely everything be machine washable and dryable --  not me!

I too have no aversion to hand washing, many of my own costumes requiring
this treatment.  (BTW, it's all costumes to me, including the 'I just got
up and haven't gotten dressed yet' costume I am wearing as I type this.)
But in addition to the virtue of being machine washable, I think crochet is
not as fragile as, and wears better than, what I learned to call 'darned
net'.  I would crochet most household linen things in preference to doing
them of darned net, all other things being equal, because I would assume
they would wear better, be less subject to the depredations of the cat,
etc.  But someday I might make a darned net thing just to have done it.
><I have done Victorian filet crochet and cross-stitch from Vinciolo and
>other Renaissance needlework reprints, and called it 'Gothic Revival'.>
>I think this is frightfully clever! <G> With an 1889 house I admit it's
>been tempting to do Art Nouveau, or Tuscan Revival, or Gothic Revival.
>However, I think we are going to just go with Eclectic Victorian (we don't
>like the overly fussy decorating typical of the time).

1889?  Why don't you do ALL of these styles?  It's period to mix them...  I
bet you own enough pieces to decorate several different ways already, or
might be inspired to make them, etc.  And, according to some period photos
I have seen, overly fussy was just one way to do Victorian Eclectic.  Not
everyone laid on the needlework with such a heavy hand as you mention not
liking.  My own family, certainly full of needleworkers, didn't. 

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