HI All,

I have recently acquired this wonderful lace collar which I believe is a needle or needlepoint lace. Even though I have purchased 3 books on lace ID(which I love by the way)  I often become confused about the different styles as there are similarities among them.  However, I couldn't seem to find anything like this in my research.

Wondering if anyone would be so kind to assist me in identifying the style of lace, origin and possible age?  

Thanks so much for your time!

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I think this piece is an embroidery. At least some parts of it are hand embroidery.

The element inside the red rings is a hand woven element that often occurs in geometric cutwork, such as Hardanger.

The blue lines follow what looks like buttonhole stitch - hand work.

The green marks lie near what looks like frayed fabric ends.

This suggests embroidery on woven cloth, with much of the fabric cut out. So this would be a form of cutwork embroidery.

But the photo isn't really clear enough for certainty. We need more detail. I would also like to see a photo of the wrong side of this.

I agree with Administrator. It looks like a very fine piece of cutwork embroidery, which uses some of the same stitches as needle lace, but on a piece of fabric instead of on a constructed thread foundation. The circled flower centers look like a tenerife-type needle weaving. A closer view would show if the buttonhole stitch edges and surface embellishments were made by machine or by hand. It's a beautiful piece!

Hi,   Thanks so much for your reply.    Yes, that makes total sense about the cutwork embroidery, I never thought of that....Is the buttonhole stitch center considered lace?  I am adding a a close-up showing the front and back.  If it is not clear enough, I can take a better close-up as it seems they all came out a little fuzzy.  Thanks again!

Administrator said:

I think this piece is an embroidery. At least some parts of it are hand embroidery.

The element inside the red rings is a hand woven element that often occurs in geometric cutwork, such as Hardanger.

The blue lines follow what looks like buttonhole stitch - hand work.

The green marks lie near what looks like frayed fabric ends.

This suggests embroidery on woven cloth, with much of the fabric cut out. So this would be a form of cutwork embroidery.

But the photo isn't really clear enough for certainty. We need more detail. I would also like to see a photo of the wrong side of this.

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Thanks Carolyn!   I posted another photo of the front and back which I am hoping will provide clarity.  Best,Jill


Carolyn Wetzel said:

I agree with Administrator. It looks like a very fine piece of cutwork embroidery, which uses some of the same stitches as needle lace, but on a piece of fabric instead of on a constructed thread foundation. The circled flower centers look like a tenerife-type needle weaving. A closer view would show if the buttonhole stitch edges and surface embellishments were made by machine or by hand. It's a beautiful piece!

Good to see the back - but still a bit too fuzzy to see details. However, I'm leaning toward hand made. 

There is a fine line between "embroidery" and "lace" in a piece like this. Wherever thread is pulled, stitched, or knotted on the fabric itself, it is embroidery. But when a larger hole is made, and filled in with an added thread structure, it is technically needle lace. So the spider-web like structures are lace, and if those donut-like flower centers are made on an added thread foundation, they are lace. But really, the whole collar is "lace" in the sense that it is made up of decorative patterns of spaces and solids! Thanks for sharing it.

Yes, your new photo does help. The backside of the buttonhole stitch does look like hand made buttonhole should look. And the green marks show some more frayed fabric ends. The purple area looks like satin stitch done in blocks. And the pink area looks like 3 sided stitch.

I am now satisfied that this is hand embroidered cutwork.

As to whether it is lace -- there are lots of definitions of lace. I think most of us Call a thing lace when the lace maker starts out with a spool of thread, and nothing else (except tools). No manufactured or pre-existing elements are incorporated. That means that bobbin lace, needle lace, and tattting might be called lace. And this would be a "lacey embroidery" or "lace-like embroidery". There are several forms of embroidery which produce lacey, transparent objects.

This is unusual in that the object itself is large, and contains a huge amount of work. The fabric seems to be a very fine woven cloth, almost transparent in itself.  

I would class this as a lace-like embroidery.

Several of my pinterest boards are photos of various lace-like embroideries.

https://www.pinterest.com/lynxlacelady/ 

Lorelei

Thank You Carolyn and Lorelei for sharing your knowledge...I am grateful.   I learn a lot each time I come to this board.  I will check out the pinterest board as well.

Many Thanks,

Jill

My thoughts are that it could be chemical lace possibly made in France or Switzerland. The lace is formed by an embroidery machine on a disolvable background. In the past it is known that some hand finising was performed on this kind of lace.  However i believe the embroidery machines were also able to make the center fillings. 


Hi Leslie,

Thank you for your input...that is an interesting possibility.   Would the chemical lace show rough edges around the lace?


Leslie Sercombe said:

My thoughts are that it could be chemical lace possibly made in France or Switzerland. The lace is formed by an embroidery machine on a disolvable background. In the past it is known that some hand finising was performed on this kind of lace.  However i believe the embroidery machines were also able to make the center fillings. 

It could but if you can tell it has been cut from fabric then it may still be machine embroidered and finished by hand. Much early machine made lace was fineshed by hand in various ways. With added embellishment or by cutting away the backing fabric. I would love a closer look of both back and front of the lace. This is a real challenge. Thank you.

Chemical lace would look quite different from this. If you click on each of these photos, above, you will see enough detail to distinguish. When I first looked at Jill's photos of the whole piece, I also thought of chemical lace as a possibility. But when I looked at the 3rd one at maximum enlargement, and her subsequent photos the detail allowed me to identify it differently. If you click on the photo segments that I marked up, I think you will see the difference.

Chemical lace   ChemicalLace2  chemical lace3     chemical lace4   

Lorelei

You are quite right it does look as though the fabric has been cut away from the back, (would still love a look at the back). This leaving the motifs joined without any bars or other means of attachment. On reflection, as there is a variation of only three motifs assembled to form this beautiful garment it is now obvious to me it is embroidered cut work. Thank you very much.  

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