NEEDLE LACES
Like Bobbin Lace, the needle laces were usually made by the poor and worn by the very rich. Many
needle laces (made with a needle and thread) were exquisite in design and took years to complete.
Some used linen threads so fine that they could hardly be seen with the naked eye. Laces such as this
were valuable and were passed down in families. Some were considered ecclesiastical treasures.

A few relatively crude needle laces, such as Battenburg, are still being made today. The fine needle
lace is too time-consuming to be a popular hobby.
MACHINE MADE LACES & FRENCH HAND
SEWING
French Hand Sewing is supposed to
have begun in convents making lingerie
to sell to wealthy patrons. The
techniques of attaching lace-to-lace
and lace-to-fabric were popular in the
late 1890s and early 1900s.

The delicate garments of this era would
not have been possible, though,
without machine-made lace.
Lace-making machines, which hurt the
hand-made lace trade, made
inexpensive lace available to the
masses. Lace was so cheap that it was
even used to trim lower-quality dolls'
dresses!

To the left is an antique child's dress
showing the extensive use of
machine-made lace c. 1900.

French hand sewing, now adapted to
the sewing machine, is a popular
hobby. The delicate garments are often
made for women and small children,
and will certainly be heirlooms for
generations to come.
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