Lace Identification 7 Examples

6. Two pieces of straight lace

Two pieces of straight lace. Top: TRC 2015.0250, bottom: TRC 2017.0070Two pieces of straight lace. Top: TRC 2015.0250, bottom: TRC 2017.0070Here we have two examples of a straight lace with a similar hexagonal ground and floral pattern. The handmade piece (TRC 2015.0250) is a continuous-thread Mechlin bobbin lace in the typical style of the early 19th century, which was largely crafted in Belgium. The pattern consists of curved flowers with delicate blossoms. The machine made example (TRC 2017.0070) is a very good imitation of Mechlin lace produced on the Levers machine at the end of 19th / beginning of 20th century. The machine made piece has a with of 17 cm, the pattern has several rows of an repeating design that evolves from top to bottom. The handmade piece has more narrow width of 6 cm and only one decorative row of a floral pattern.

Filling: The fillings of the handmade piece has a cloth stitch structure with a few elements of half stitch. The solid parts have clear passage of threads in all areas and their edges are surrounded by pinholes. 
In the machine made piece the solid parts look very similar to the handmade filling, but the threads tend to have a more parallel structure, it is hard to trace the passage of threads and there is no indication of pin holes. The bottom line of the bobbin lace is decorated with so-called cartouches that are filled with fancy stitches. The machine made lace tries to imitate the cartouches of the handmade piece with concavely formed tendrils executed in a plain cloth stitch.  

Gimp: In the handmade piece the gimp thread outlines the pattern. In the machine made piece the gimp looks very similar to the handmade, therefore it most likely was added by hand. 

Ground: Both examples have a Mechlin type hexagonal ground, but in the machine made example the stitches are less even and precise than in the handmade lace.  

Edge: Both examples have picots at the edges, but in the handmade piece the edge is scalloped and the picots were made together with the main piece. The edge of the machine made lace is straight. It was  produced separately and added later.

Side: The handmade example is the sam on both sides, while the machine made lace has a distinct front and back side, as shown by the raised gimp threat on the front.

Handmade lace:    Machine-made lace: 
TRC 2015.0250TRC 2015.0250   TRC 2017.0070TRC 2017.0070

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