Some time ago I made some collaborative pages. Anyone who feels to can contribute to these overviews.

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For tatting design, Inkscape is a great, and free! vector drawing program. It could easily be used to design bobbin lace as well. There are lots of tutorials available online on how to use the software.

I use GIMP which is a photoshop adjacent program. It has a lot of really good features and a lot of information online on how to use it and do different things with it (including animations). 

I understand that once i get the idea of how the software works I could get very creative, I know this amazing bobbin lace website Jo ........ can't remember the last name, but he has the software to design lace patterns and i remember getting along with it quite well.

Gina, and anyone else who successfully uses Inkscape, 

I downloaded Inkscape and have tried it out.  I am stumped at how you control the finished size of the graphics. Any help would be greatly appreciated.  

I have been using Paint Shop Pro x2 for a long time now, and with the vector drawings there I can easily control the width of the lines and also the finished output size.  I like my finished work set at 300 dpi so I start with that.  I'm not only doing diagrams with the drawing program, but also my outline designs that I convert to screens for screen printing the background fabric for embroidery designs. 

I'm currently working on creating a class for other embroidery designers on how to make a sketched design into a screen print.  I'm very confident using Paint Shop Pro for it, but would like to also offer how to use a free program.  I just have not had any luck with Inkscape yet, and it is the only vector based free program that I've heard of.  I don't have too much problem doing the drawing, it's getting it the right size, and the right thickness on the lines that stumps me. 

Here is one way to modify the size of the graphic in Inkscape (numbers in picture below correspond to steps):

1) Click on the arrow tool (select and transform objects mode) on the left hand toolbar.
2) Usually it is best to place the whole design in a "group" so that the lines in the drawing stay together.  You can do this by selecting the design (drag your mouse around the pattern to select all of the items) and selecting Object -> Group from the top menu bar (or alternatively you can type Ctrl+G).

Now that it is grouped, you can resize the pattern.

3) You want to make sure that the width and height resize the same amount.  To do this, click on the "lock" icon in the top toolbar and change it from an "open" lock to a "closed" lock.
4) Change the size units to inches or centimetres (or whatever size unit you want) by selecting the unit from the drop down list in the top toolbar.
5) Edit either the W or H value in the top toolbar (hit the "Enter" key when you are finished typing the number to apply the change).  The other dimension will update automatically.

You probably want to adjust the size of the document as well.  By default, the document size is A4.  If you want to change this to US letter, do the following:

1) From the top menu bar select File -> Document properties
2) A tool will appear on the right side of the Inkscape window.  Make sure the "Page" tab is selected and then choose the US Letter page size.

A black rectangle on the drawing canvas will indicate the size of the paper.  Make sure your pattern is positioned nicely inside it.

To edit the width of a line:

1) Select the Object -> Fill and Stroke... menu item.2) A tool will appear on the right side of your window.  Select the Stroke style tab.  You can change the units (pixels, inches, mm etc) and specify the width of a selected line.  You can also select several lines at the same time and make the change to them all at once.
3) Alternatively, you can right mouse button click on the number in the bottom left corner of the Inkscape window. This is a faster way but it only offers a limited number of options.

You can find out more information on how to use Inkscape from this manual:

Wow, Veronika.  I must get that software!

Thanks for the help.  I will give it a try. 

Would there be interest in starting a discussion thread (or maybe even a group) where we help each other use/learn Inkscape to draw lace?

I think that would be an excellent idea.  I must say, I'd be using it to draw designs for needle lace, not bobbin lace patterns, if that makes any difference to the others.  It seems like you have the program pretty well mastered, Veronika. 


I think it would be a good idea for you to start an Inkscape DISCUSSION within this group called COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN DISCUSSIONS. It can go on as long as you wish. Your skills will be useful to us.

After we all have a chance to learn Inkscape, I'd like to introduce you to Corel Paint Shop Pro x6 or earlier versions.  It is currently available at for $29.95 and includes vector drawing, raster drawing, and lots of photo editing tools.  It has easy layers tools and I have found it really easy to go from a scanned sketch  to clean vector drawing of it for use as a pattern.  If there are people who would like tutorials in it, I'd be happy to help.  I started using this program when it was Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8 and I've upgraded to Corel Paint Shop Pro x3.  They keep enhancing the photo editiing part, but the drawing tools have stayed the same.  I have tried Corel Draw, but found it difficult to learn and control, and gave it up returning to Paint Shop Pro.  Below is a sketch of half a collar pattern, and then the completed pattern.

wow. that makes a really neat, clean drawing


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