Blonde lace

A blonde lace mantilla, Spain. A blonde lace mantilla, Spain.

Blonde lace (also written as blond lace) is a form of bobbin lace made of silk and produced in strips of some ten cm wide. It was particularly popular in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century and principally made in France. The name refers to the natural colour of the silk thread, but much of the blonde lace was made in black.

Queen Adelaide wearing blonde lace, by Sir William Beechey.In the mid-eighteenth century, blonce lace was being produced in Caen and in Flanders, and from the early nineteenth century it was also being made in limited quantities in England. Because of its softness, it was particularly suitable for early-nineteenth century fashion, and came to replace Mechlin lace. It was from early on in the nineteenth century copied by machines, but the difference was difficult to detect and it for long remained known as a 'handmade' lace.

Queen Adelaide (1792-1849) wearing blonde lace, by Sir William Beechey. c. 1830. National Portrait Gallery acc. no. 1533.

By the mid-nineteenth century, blonde lace had gone out of fashion. But blonde lace long remained popular in Spain, where it was used for the mantillas and scarfs of Spanish ladies.

Blonde lace was worn by Princess Charlotte (1796-1817), daughter of George IV, in 1817, and by Queen Adelaide (1792-1849), wife of William IV (1765-1837), in 1830. 

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 7th May 2017).


Last modified on Sunday, 26 August 2018 11:35
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