Bobbinlace Beginners

For all beginners in bobbin lace who need a little help, and for experienced lace makers who are willing to assist.  Learn how to make bobbin lace.  Learn bobbin lace.  Bobbin lace lessons.  Bobbin lace tutorial.  For other bobbin lace tutorials online, and for discussion of bobbin lace structure, look in the next right column for the red link ONLINE RESOURCES.

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Bobbin Lace Beginner Lessons and Resources


Beginner Lessons

For paintings of the garments worn at the time LePompe was published, see this.  Look about 1/3 down the page. 

Both the 2nd and 3rd and 5th are from LePompe, the oldest known pattern book, dating from the mid 16th century.


The bottom row is from BOBBIN LACE LESSON-CLOTH STRIP.

Bobbin lace basics

Plaited lace lesson 1 

Plaited lace lesson 2 

Plaited lace lesson 3 

Plaited lace lesson 4    

Lesson 5 Tallies  

Plaited lace lesson 6 

Plaited lace lesson 7

Tape lace lesson DMC #47

Tape Lace Mat 


The Circle at right is another way to learn the basic stitches.

Find pattern.

Jo Edkins website with lots of torchon patterns and information for beginners:

Discussion Forum

Hi all 10 Replies

Started by Darlene Castro. Last reply by Gina Shillitani Jan 25.

Hello 9 Replies

Started by Cathy Wesemann. Last reply by Laurie Elliott Dec 30, 2016.

Travel Pillow. 8 Replies

Started by Joseph. Last reply by Rose Maidd Dec 17, 2016.

Got my new roller pillow... 8 Replies

Started by Dawn Ellis. Last reply by Barbara Gordon Nov 5, 2016.

what ground is she doing...spanish video 5 Replies

Started by Dawn Ellis. Last reply by Dawn Ellis Aug 13, 2016.

Home spun thread? 9 Replies

Started by Eva Francis. Last reply by Administrator Jul 11, 2016.

What is the english name of this ground stitch? 14 Replies

Started by Dawn Ellis. Last reply by Administrator May 28, 2016.

Threads-Beginners 10 Replies

Started by Administrator. Last reply by Administrator May 23, 2016.

Working a stitch in the hands rather than on the pillow 18 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Nancy M. Terselic May 9, 2016.

Introduction and question 21 Replies

Started by Dawn Ellis. Last reply by Administrator May 6, 2016.

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT-Beginners 15 Replies

Started by Administrator. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti May 5, 2016.

Crimes against Lace - Confess! 21 Replies

Started by Sharon. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti Feb 7, 2016.

What's wrong with my picots? 6 Replies

Started by Sharon. Last reply by Sharon Oct 20, 2015.

Attaching lace to fabric 12 Replies

Started by Administrator. Last reply by Carmelina Andrade Jul 2, 2015.

Critique please? 5 Replies

Started by Sharon. Last reply by Sharon Jun 22, 2015.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Bobbinlace Beginners to add comments!

Comment by Administrator on March 24, 2016 at 4:12pm

There is another way to calculate. Find a diagonal line, as long as possible, of ground pins. You have one ground pair which travels the whole diagonal distance -- the green line. And at each pin you have one pair intersecting with that green pair -- the chartreuse lines. The pink square then shows the pin which separates the 2 fans. You can easily see 2 passive pairs and one weaver. I calculate 12 pairs for this lace, plus the gimps.  8 + 1 + 3

Comment by Administrator on March 24, 2016 at 3:56pm

This is the same lace as the icon for this group. The red rings show the ground pins, and each of those uses 2 pairs. The blue squares show the footside pins and each of those uses 3 pairs - 2 passives and one weaver. The lace requires 10 pairs.

The green lines show a good place to start, because most of the end knots (for an eding) can be hidden behind the cloth stitch diamond.

Comment by Administrator on March 24, 2016 at 3:42pm

Ed Cook wrote me an email asking about how to estimate the number of pairs a pattern requires, and how to figure where the best place to start is. I thought I would answer here, so everyone can see. Other members may also have useful points to make on this subject.

It depends on what kind of bobbin lace you are working on. And even then you can only estimate (at least I can't always calculate exactly).

For torchon you have to remember that each pin in the ground has 2 pairs. A cloth stitch or half stitch motif has one pair entering or departing at each pin. The footside usually has 3 pairs, but may have 4.  As to where to start, pick a place where the ending knots can be hidden behind some cloth stitch motif (if possible) so the ending will look neater.

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on October 18, 2015 at 9:59pm

I wish my tallies all looked that good, - and what nimble fingers. I wish mine were like that!

The Princess cords are useful to make a thicker line than just a normal gimp gives.

Comment by Nancy M. Terselic on October 16, 2015 at 4:13pm

Wow...just wow on the tallies.   Like many lacers, tallies are my bane (them and picots).   I do mine on the bolster, too, but I just cannot get them to come out right.  I am interested in the fact that she really isn't tightening them with each pass, just allowing each line to slowly push up the previous ones and thus avoid over tensioning.

Comment by Administrator on October 16, 2015 at 2:52pm

How to make a ganse Princesse -- a cord of 2 thick threads and 2 thin threads. It ends up looking like woven bars made in needle laces and reticella. This element occurs in Cluny laces.

Comment by Administrator on October 16, 2015 at 2:43pm

Another way of handling bobbins to make tallies - holding them in the hands, with a bolster pillow.

Comment by Administrator on September 24, 2015 at 2:45am

Some simple book mark patterns, with instructions, from Alex Stillwell

Comment by Jo Edkins on May 17, 2015 at 4:58pm

I heard of these laces from someone from Panama, now living in Europe, who wanted to learn lace so she could make the Panama national dress, which has this lace as trims and insertions. She sent me some photos. I had a look on the web, found some more pictures and websites, and got fascinated. There is an account here but that is by a tourist. I have no idea as to the history of this lace - that website seems to suggest a Spanish origin. I did wonder if there was perhaps a single lace teacher in Panama somewhere who started this style as something simple to do yet striking with its different colours. Sorry - this is wandering from what should be posted in the Beginner's forum! But I did want to bring these patterns to the notice of beginners as something fun to do, and with a genuine background.

Comment by Administrator on May 17, 2015 at 4:41pm

Jo - you have done a lot of work on those laces! Thank you for taking the time to do it, and to post it all on your site. That kind of pillow, a wheel, is used for the freehand laces made in the mountainous borderland between France, Italy and Switzerland. Apparently it traveled to the new world as well. This is the first I have heard of it. One of the freehand laces is from the town of Queyras and from Maurienne.  They were made with pins only along the outer margin, and the interior was all controlled with tension alone.  The color in your examples adds another dimension.  For examples of the pillows, look here.


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