This is my first post in this group, something I'd love to find out about what type of lace this is.  It appears to be a design possibly hand woven onto a very fine filet net, or it could possibly be machine woven or even a bobbin lace if that's possible.

It is a very very fine piece of lace, the net being very light, almost like a hat net and hair thin.  I'm assuming it's cotton and not silk as there doesn't appear to have a sheen to it.

I've got nearly 18 yards of it (in 3 pieces), so if that is any clue, I don't know.

Thanks for any clues anyone can offer !

Views: 235


Replies to This Discussion

I'm not an expert, so defer to those who are! But my ideas are as follows:

Not needle lace

Not bobbin lace, because the net is atypical

You're right - it does look like a filet net. The junctions look knotted to me. So the rest is embroidered on the net. This is filet lace - see

I agree with Jo. I think it is filet lacis -- a square knotted net, made the same way as an oldtime fisherman's net. It is then embroidered. What is unusual in this is that the corner knots are not very prominent, but I do think I see them. Also the thread is a little too fine for the size of the mesh. The embroidery is also too open; the thread doesn't fill the spaces well enough. But I do think it is handmade. Here below are some links to similar laces.

The first half of this page is filet lacis: 

My pinterest board for filet lacis: 

Thank you Jo and Lorelei...I was pretty sure that it is a filet lace but was curious about the embroidery on it as that appears hand made.   I've never seen a filet quite so fine though as it is almost hair-thin and Lorelei, I did a cursory look on your Pinterest page yesterday, but will look again.   

I can't imagine what this could have been used for as it looks like an insertion type of lace....but for what as it's so fine, with any wear, it would tear I assume!

Pertaining to my response above, I liken the thickness of the net to that of hat veiling....VERY fine and the embroidery on it a thicker thread.  I don't feel that this was made for hat veiling because of the embroidery on it and the width of it and especially that it looks like an insertion of some type.

If you sewed your lace onto material (as opposed to an edge or filling a hole), then its fineness wouldn't matter. The structure of the lace would be supported by the material, and it would be kept in place by the sewing. The sewing wouldn't just be along the edges - there could be stitches in the middle to hold it firm and stop it billowing up.

It occurs to me that the mismatch between the size of the mesh and the size of the thread may be why this exists as a roll of lace, and was not actually made into an object. Somebody did the work, then realized it didn't look right because the thread was too thin.

Actually today found one very much the same with not too much of a description....on Etsy!

This woman sells lots and lots of laces, but I don't know that she knows exactly what it is.  Seems others have made similar laces like mine back then!


It seems quite a lot of work to do a a mistake! Perhaps this was amateur work. I think that filet lace was one of the recognised hobbies, and getting thickness of thread wrong is a common amateur error. Or you could say that it isn't a mistake, but an amateur experimenting! (I do that...) And that explains why it was never made into anything or had problems when it was. The maker made it before thinking how to use it. (I've done that, as well.)
Or it could be a recognised style of filet lace but just not one we've met before. I still think you could use it. With care.

Jo, You have a point.

My feeling is that it is just not a recognized style of filet lace at least in today's world, especially since I surprisingly found nearly the same thing in the other seller's shop on Etsy!  It is truly the identical technique....sadly the pictures are not as clear but you can certainly tell that the net is very fine and the embroidery is the same loose type.

I also feel, that somewhere, somehow, there must have been instructions/pattern followed to do this type of filet.  Could perhaps the net ground have been pre-made and furnished somehow with the embroidery applied.  There are hat nettings that are as thin as this....I have some and years ago they were very fine, not the cheap scratchy net of today!

It leaves a few questions unanswered for sure as since there was more than one out there....and from different coasts, as I am in NY and the seller is in California, then I take it that more exists!

It might indeed be possible that the square mesh net, plain, was purchased, and then hand embroidered. I have looked at several booklets of filet lace printed around 1900. Filet, drawn thread work, Battenberg type tape laces were all popular amateur handwork at around that time. Your suggestion of purchased net would explain the thread size mismatch. Here are 2 sites where you can download such pattern books, since they are old enough for copyright to have expired. 


Translate This Site



Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 7:07pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 9, 2014.


Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 7:29pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Sep 2, 2014.

How to Post a Long Article

Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Mar 7, 2013 at 4:47pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Mar 7, 2013.


Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 6:58pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 20, 2012.

How to embed a video on the IOLI site

Created by Tatman Jan 25, 2012 at 3:26pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 25, 2012.





Other Events

Laurie Waters has a very substantial EVENTS list on lacenews.   

EU Cookie Directive

© 2019   Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service