Nothing makes a woman feel more feminine and fashionable than wearing a lace dress. Lace fabric can effortlessly make a style statement which is why; it is the most happening fabric of this season. Lace has been used by people all over the world since ages, but still its popularity has not diminished.


Lace can give a super sweet or girly look at the same time it can make one look seductive and classy. Wearing lace garment is the perfect way to express one's style.


Lace making is an ancient craft which creates patterns by making holes. The holes are made by removing threads or cloth from the already woven fabric. Most of the times, spaces or holes are created to make the lace fabric. It can be made by hand as well as machine. Until machines were introduced, lace making was considered as the most complex process in the textile processes.


True lace originated in 15th or 16th century in Europe. During this period, it was hand made by highly skilled women. Hence, its production was very slow as very few women knew how to make it, making it exclusive and expensive. The demand for lace increased as the time passed and new machines were developed to produce textiles.


Later, in 1768, John Heathcoat invented the bobbin net machine which could produce complicated lace designs quickly. Further, in the 18th century, John Leaver created a machine which made it very easy to produce patterned machine made lace, which was very similar to handmade lace. Today, laces produced using the 'Leaver machine' is known as Leaver lace.


Lace1.jpgIn ancient times silk, linen, gold or silver threads were used to make lace. Today, cotton threads are commonly used. Also, artisans use thin copper or silver threads to make lace, whereas synthetic fibres are used in machine made lace.


There are two main types of handmade lace. They are needle lace which is made by using needle and thread and by making variations on buttonhole stitch. It is the most flexible and time consuming lace making technique. Second is the bobbin lace which is made by twirling and plaiting different threads.


As the name suggests, a pillow and bobbins are used to make bobbin lace. Chantilly lace is a type of bobbin lace which is also known as bridal lace. Moreover, handmade laces have several types of designs, each is made in distinct way and using different tools.


Knitting, crochet and tatting are the most common types of lace made using single thread technique and needle lace, knotted lace, embroidery lace etc., are few types of lace made using multiple thread technique. Lace made or replicated using any kind of machines is called machine-made lace.

Cutwork, tape lace, knotted lace, crocheted lace, tatted lace, knitted lace, machine-made lace etc. are some types of lace which are differentiated by their making. Threads are removed from a woven background to make cutwork or white-work lace. The remaining threads are either wrapped neatly or filled with embroidery work whereas; tape lace is made by using machine or hand-made textile strip to create a design. Later they are joined and decorated using needle or bobbin lace.


Knitting method is usually used for making big, round or making tubular items. Both hands are used to hold the needle and generally long needles are used. The renowned Shetland lace is a kind of knitted lace. Tatted lace is made with an oval shuttle with one pointed end or shuttling needle.


lace2.jpgCrochet lace uses steel hook which is approx. 6 inches long. Irish crochet, pineapple crochet and filet crochet are all types of crocheted lace. Embroidered laces are made on machine-made fabric using needles and plastic or wooden frame.


Moving further, there are different types of machines used in manufacturing lace. For example the stocking frame, the bobbinet machine, the hand embroidery machine and the barmen machine. The Rachel machine was invented in Germany. This machine worked at higher speed and works best with new kinds of synthetic fibres. Currently, most of the modern machine-made lace is made on Rachel machines.


The bobbinet machine was first invented and later the Pusher machine and Leaver machine were made after making variations in the machine. The pusher lace gets its lace from its machine. The leaver machine is considered one of the best machines to make patterned lace. The hand embroidery machine makes exact copy of hand embroidered lace. The lace is made on machine made fabric or net which is burned away by heat or dissolved by chemicals.


Lingerie made with lace fabric had already set the textile market in rage. Moreover, the lace fabric which was once used only for lingerie has now conquered the fashion apparel world. Whether it is a stylish dress or layered tops, lace fabric looks chic and stylish. Lace was showcased in all the fashion shows in 2013 and has become flavor of the season.


Fashion designers all over the world have created some endearing lace creations through innumerable ways and have instilled lace into modern clothing. Famous brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Dior and many others have expressed their love for lace fabric through their creations. Besides clothing, lace fabric has been adopted in making accessories like ankle boots, lace clutch even fine costume jewelry.

Lace is not only ruling the fashion world but it has showed its versatility in the home dcor sector also. Lace is the hottest trend of 2013 for home furnishing. Lace fabric, lace used as embellishment or lace stencil or pattern; lace in any form are being used in furniture, curtain, bedding, etc. A vintage lace table cloth over the dining table will add a royal touch to the space around.


Refreshing and vibrant colors of the lace curtains, bedspreads and pillows give a distinct and delicate look to the entire room. This is not the end of items made from lace fabric for home furnishings. One can find, lace napkins, handkerchiefs, aprons, lampshades, pillowcases, lace artwork, etc. in the stores to decorate ones home.


To sum up, lace is the perfect way to express one's style with panache. After wearing lace attire, one does not need anything else to look a million bucks. Similarly, lace home furnishings can enhance the look of one's house which is why it is aptly called 'the amazing lace'.


References:


1.      En.wikipedia.org

2.      Lynxlace.com

3.      Dressandtextilespecialists.org.uk

4.      Vegasmagazine.com

5.      Decorandyouhr.com


Image Courtesy:


1.      Stitched-up.org.uk

2.      Fashiondesignscoop.com