Holly Powers started this discussion a few years ago. I am just reposting it.


I'd like to work on a simple tape lace project as a side project to start on a new form of lace in addition to working through the excellent "Visual Introduction to Bucks Point Lace" exercises by Geraldine Stott.

I've heard of Schneeberger, Idrija, Milanese, Russian and Battenburg tape laces. For simplicity's sake and for greatest initial success, could you recommend any one of these tape lace types (or other tape laces not mentioned here)?

... One area in which I've experienced difficulty in the past is that most patterns with tape laces have one or more places in which the pairs, due to their number, become constricted at inward points on curves. Apparently strategies exist on how to deal with this issue (but where?).

Finally, I'd appreciate your thoughts on starts and finishes (and techniques) on the prickings (often, the decision/strategy on where to begin and end work is left up to the lacemaker), because these markings aren't always provided. Is there a best way to set up the bobbins (various methods and why) prior to starting a piece of tape lace?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Holly Powers
Lacemakers of Puget Sound"



First thing is that Battenburg tape lace is a "mixed tape lace" meaning that the meandering tape is a straight machine woven tape, and it is held together with needle lace stitches in the empty spaces.

The others you mention -- Schneeberger, Idrija, Milanese and Russian are all 100% bobbin made tape laces. The tape is woven on the pillow, and special stitches are done at the inside of every curve to keep the threads in a good position. These are called "turning stitches". However there are a great many different turning stitches.

Schneeberger, Idrija and Russian are all about the same level of difficulty. Milanese has some very complex stitches. But if you are doing Bucks you might be ready for Milanese after just a few little bits of plain tape lace.

There are some free patterns here on our site (from old books with expired copyrights). Look for DMC 42, DMC 47 and MM99.  http://laceioli.ning.com/photo/albums/bobbin-lace-beginner-patterns 

DMC 47 is the prettiest, and I have also prepared some diagrams for it on my website.


I have also posted some diagrams for the simplest form of turning stitch, both for a single turning stitch, and for 2 turning stitches on the same side.  http://lynxlace.com/learningbobbinlace-basics.html#turningstitch 

I suggest you start by going through all that material, then come back to us with specific questions for parts that still aren't clear.

Your question about where to start. The central factor is that where you start is also where you end (if you are making an edging), and where you end usually will have some lumpy knots on the back side of the finished lace. So you pick a spot to start that will have you ending at a place where those knots can be hidden behind something dense, or in an inconspicuous place.



Hi Lorelei,
Thank you for pointing out the distinctions in Battenburg lace. I'd definitely like to try some of the past-copyright, simple tape lace patterns--thank you for pointing them out. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!



What size should that DMC47 be?  When I open it on my computer, the whole thing is only 2 inches wide. One side of the square is 2 inches.  I hope thats clear.





The sample I worked (on my website) is 5 inches across, and I worked it in a 70/2 linen.  That is, the lace itself is 5 inches. The image on the screen has a little blank space around the pattern, so you should probably print it out at 5.25 or 5.5 inches.  Tatting cotton #80 would be a similar size.  To get the correct size go to the DMC47 page. Look below and to the right of the pattern. Click on VIEW FULL SIZE. That gives you just the pattern on the screen, nothing else. Save that to your computer.  (Right click, then select SAVE.)  Then use any program you have that allows you to specify the size of the printout.  There is a little more info on this on my website.   http://lynxlace.com/learningbobbinlace-tapelesson-47.html 


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