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…