Needle Lace by Liz Ligeti

Lace made with a needle is one of the earliest forms of lacemaking. It evolved out of embroideries, where areas of fabric were clumped together by threads to make patterns that left holes, and later workers began to withdraw threads from the fabric and weave threads through the remaining warp and weft. The earliest forms of Reticella was worked this way, into the fabric with areas of threads withdrawn, and the needle weaving worked to fill the void.

Reticella Mat ~ Original design by Liz Ligeti

With time, workers began to create designs independent of the fabric, developing new methods and new looks.

In these later laces, the pattern is tacked onto a fabric pad, and a double thread is couched down around the outline of the design. A variety of filling stitches are then worked – based on the buttonhole or blanket stitch, which is a looped stitch. When this is completed, a row of stitches is then worked over the outline thread to tidy the whole piece up. The piece is then released from the pad, and the couching stitches are removed.

Some laces made this way are Reticella, Point de Gaze, Alencon, Argentan, Zele, Point de France, Point de Sedan, and Rose Point, as well as Gros Point – the Venetian Raised lace, and Hollie Point – an English lace mainly used on baby bonnets etc.

Brussels lace is a Mixed Lace – it is part bobbin lace with needle lace inserts.

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