[HNW] Re: H-needlework Digest, Vol 6, Issue 3

butler peter dreamer81465 at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 6 09:40:35 PST 2003

There are other types of needle "crocheting". Naalbinding and sprang among them. Netting is one of the oldest types of "lace" in history. We have no real proof of the age of crochet or knitting and it is a subject of great debate. Fingerlacing is an ancient form of lacing as is macrame. If you want to really think of it as such, you can also look at hardanger (openwork or cutwork) can be considered lace. Reticulla is a form of needlelace and bobbin lace is Elizabethan.


>What about needle lace?...Is this what you are referring as netting?

No, though that's certainly another option. Needle lace is like doing 
embroidery with no background cloth -- "punto in aria" ("stitches in 
the air") as the Italians call it. Of course you have to be careful 
to design it so that it holds together when you're done.

Netting is made just like making fish nets, although of course the 
stuff you want to make lace out of is much smaller -- 1/4 inch mesh 
or even less. After you make the netting, you embroider it in 
matching thread. Embroidered square netting like this is called Lacis 
("La-SEESE", rhymes with "peace"). Filet crochet was invented in the 
19thc. as a quick way to make "fake" Lacis.

I've always found it mildly amusing that bobbin lace was invented as 
(among other things) a quicker way to make something that looked like 
needle-made lace, and then crochet was used as a quicker way to make 
something that looked like bobbin lace. Then came machine-made lace, 
and now we have "chemical lace" where something lacy is made by 
dissolving away some threads with chemicals to create the holes.... 
I suppose "virtual lace," which doesn't exist at all, must be 

As for crochet, Santina Levey (author of _Lace: A History_) places 
the origin of crocheted lace in the late 17th century, and as far as 
I know no one has found anything new in the last few years to change 
that. There's a "crochet FAQ" in this file's archives somewhere, and 
also in the archives for H-Costume at 
http://net.indra.com/pipermail/h-costume which I think is public.
O Chris Laning
+ Davis, California


Message: 5
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2003 22:23:09 -0800
From: Carolyn Kayta Barrows 
Subject: Re: [HNW] crochet
To: nellwynn0 at lycos.com, Historic Needlework

Message-ID: < at mail.frys.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

>This reminded me That I've been wanting to ask if anyone has managed to 
>document crochet before the late 1700s. A while back I read that it was 
>the earliest so far.

Is there a piece of actual crochet from before 1840? Are there pictures, 
and the thread path worked out, to prove it? I'd love to see that 
documentation, as I can't document crochet earlier than about 1840, and 
nobody else I have ever talked to can either.

>I would love to reproduce some of the old lacis patterns but I have yet to 
>figure out how to make the net. The modern net I've seen has round not 
>square holes and is nylon so I don't think it would work.
>Many of them can be done in filet crochet (which I enjoy) but apparently 
>it is just somewhat out of period. Like nearly 200 years. sigh
>Does anyone know anything different?

Yes. Aparently you can get lacis net in cotton, with proper square holes.

Meanwhile, I think some knitted openwork is period for the SCA. Not lace 
doilies like my mother does, but definitely openwork patterns.

CarolynKayta Barrows
dollmaker, fibre artist, textillian

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End of H-needlework Digest, Vol 6, Issue 3

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