There are hundreds of different types of bobbin lace; each country and sometimes each town had
their specific style, type of pillow and type of bobbins.
What all bobbin laces have in common is that they are made using some sort of a lace pillow (flat,
bolster or combination) and use small sticks called bobbins to hold the thread. The lace-maker
plaits and weaves the threads from the bobbins into a pattern. The unfinished lace is supported by
pins until it is sturdy.
Above: A bobbin lace pillow with a bolster that rotates.
You can see the pattern secured to the bolster. Right: My
homemade pillow is functional, although not as attractive.
Below: Bobbin lace patterns range from very simple to extremely complex. Bobbin lace was
traditionally made by poor women, but was worn by the very rich. Some lace pieces took YEARS
No matter what style
of bobbin lace you
like, you'll need
LOTS of bobbins.
I like English-style
bobbins because they
are fun and the glass
beads (spangles) give
them character. I
have written special
names or dates on
some of my bobbins.
(Sarah's bobbin is on
the far right with the
bobbins can also be a