… and old lace

Luckily, no arsenic.  As far as I know, I have no lace-making ancestors, so there’s no ‘genetic’ reason for my attraction to old lace.  Handling very old textiles – just looking at them, in some cases – elicits a feeling of pure joy.  I guess it’s about connecting to women who lived before.  We all have a connection with cloth in some way, but it is so much more bound to a woman’s life than to a man’s. 
The lace pictured here was from Nottingham.  I know very little about lace, and have no idea about how to date these pieces.  I would guess that most of it is around 100 years old, some a little older, and mostly machine-made.

Some lengths of cotton lace (above), with some damage, in various widths ranging from 2.5″ to 0.5″.
There are three pairs of very old gloves:

These (above) appear to be crocheted with very fine cotton.  They fit perfectly, although the fingers seem to be very short.

These also fit perfectly – much longer fingers.  And there are some fingerless lace mittens, which are very fragile:

These are about 11″ long, with all seams hand-stitched.  They are almost weightless, and one of the mittens has quite a lot of damage and wear.
And there are several old collars:

Again, I have no idea about the date of these.  I feel like a total amateur, and am ashamed of my ignorance.  I will learn about them.

And a detail:

This one has cotton bias binding machine stitched along the edge.  Just over 3″ wide, including the tape.
And there’s more…

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8 Responses to … and old lace

  1. I love your old lace – on Saturday I was at a lace making day in Wooton Bassett, Wiltshire. I am 'half' of a patchwork/quilting business – based in Oxfordshire. My grandparents were from the Bethnal Green area of London – small world isn't it?

  2. Kaite says:

    where are you finding all these beautiful old fabrics and laces? have you inherited a museum? how wonderful but oh, the responsibility…k.

  3. Deborah says:

    So much lovely lace! As Kaite suggested, I think you must have inherited a museum.

  4. ger says:

    The lace you show in detail seems to be very similar to one I bought in an antique shop back in March – a Berlin blogger told me then it´s Irish point lace, she thinks from about 1900… (reminds me to unearth those pieces + look at them again…)

  5. Barbara says:

    Hi,My father grew up in Nottingham … the lace is so very beautiful. He came to Canada in the late 40s … I have two sisters and we all have a few pieces from his grandmother. Unfortunately, neither his mom or other relatives are still living to ask any questions and of course men don't really know about what they have been given especially lace, perhaps an old rusty tool would have made more sense to him!You have a great find … enjoy … what I have are table linens but look to be a similiar vintage.Very best wishes,Barbara

  6. Karen Turner says:

    Well, I might start my own museum one day… ;-)Ger, I thought about 100 years was about right, but I'm definitely no expert.

  7. I also would love to learn more about lace…anyone know of a good, clear site, Very nice blog.

  8. Karen Turner says:

    Thanks, fabrique – if you find such a site before I do, please let me know and I will do likewise 🙂

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