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.

Members: 259
Latest Activity: Apr 20

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

Home spun thread? 11 Replies

Started by Eva Francis. Last reply by Barbara Gordon Apr 6.

Using a pizza base to make a lace fan... 10 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Aug 11, 2017.

Reading patterns 2 Replies

Started by Nathalie G Smith. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jul 21, 2017.

Hello all.... 37 Replies

Started by Dee Dove. Last reply by Dee Dove Jul 5, 2017.

May I have some help please. 8 Replies

Started by Agnes Goyvaerts. Last reply by Agnes Goyvaerts Jun 8, 2017.

Reseau in Pat Earnshaw's Dictionary of Lace query 2 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator May 16, 2017.

Starting lace stitches with a twist 15 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti May 4, 2017.

What is ''punto monja"? 25 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Veronika Irvine Apr 13, 2017.

Working a stitch in the hands rather than on the pillow 23 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti Mar 28, 2017.

Beginning bobbin lace class to be held in Philadelphia, July 19th, 2017 1 Reply

Started by Devon Thein. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Mar 20, 2017.

Hi all 10 Replies

Started by Darlene Castro. Last reply by Gina Shillitani Jan 25, 2017.

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.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on January 3, 2015 at 7:32pm

Stephanie, I was taught to put my pins in Slightly slanting backwards, with the outer edge pins also slanting back and out - slightly, not a lot, but it means that as you tension the threads, the lace will automatically go the the bottom of the pins, - and (usually ) stay there!

Lace that rises up the pins is annoying, so slant them a bit. that may help.

Comment by Stephanie Wells on January 3, 2015 at 2:49pm
I have a quick question. Every piece I have worked on I notice that my lace lifts up on the pins away from the pricking. What am I doing wrong? Am I trying to put in too much tension?
Comment by Kate Bainbridge on January 3, 2015 at 12:17pm
This is all sound advice, Roger. I learnt with this book and still refer to it now.
When I am going to do something I haven't done for a while I go back to that book and make a bookmark.
Good luck and enjoy your journey.
Comment by Barbara C. Hevener on January 3, 2015 at 11:18am

Hello Roger,

If you can get a copy of "Beginner's Guide to Bobbin Lace" by Gilian Dye and Adrienne Thunder (about $20 new, $11 used at, you can limit your starting threads to 2 or 3 contrasting but harmonizing colors of Size 8 pearl cotton (also known as coton perle) which is widely available in many colors and is easy to work with.  The book includes patterns for six bookmarks, all sized to be used with that kind of thread.  The early projects include extensive step-by-step written instructions with detailed photos while the later ones assume you learned the skills presented in the earlier projects.  Those six projects, done in order, will give you the skills to move on to nearly any kind of bobbin lace (at least at beginner level) with confidence without the need to invest in different thread sizes.  In my humble opinion, if you are learning without a teacher, this is one of the best, least expensive, options.  In addition to bobbins, thread, and a good "cookie" pillow, you will need a few office supplies to make patterns into proper prickings:  I use cardstock and plastic laminate sheets (the kind that do not need a machine or heat).  The book includes instructions on making prickings.  I also made my own inexpensive spangled bobbins according to instructions here by Mark Myers, another gentleman bobbin lacer:  Best of luck, and have fun lacing!!


Comment by Roger Turnbough on January 3, 2015 at 9:48am

Good morning everyone,

I hope I am posting in the correct section of the site, if not, I apologize.  First off, I guess I'm not your average lace maker.  I am a 56 year old guy, that has never done any fiber work in my life.  So I am a fish out of water.  Tho the wife does counted cross stitch. 

I need to order in supplies to get started, and want to save some money.  So I am in the process of turning all my bobbins myself.  For the time being they will not be spangled, but can always add them later if I deem them necessary.  Rather than buy an assembled starter kit from, I've went thru and selected all the assorted pieces.

I understand that tread size is dependent on the spaces in 2" of length between the pins.  But as a rank beginner, I will be doing all the beginners patterns.  I really don't want to end up with 20 rolls of different size threads right off the bat as those things are expensive.  So from the collective wisdom of the group, what 5 or 6 rolls of thread should I be looking to get?  I can certainly get more with this order, but don't really know if ordering a large amount would be beneficial.

After I develop my skill set, I am really drawn to the twisty, curvy patterns of some of the more elaborate tape laces.  Thanks for your help everyone, it is truly appreciated.


Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on January 2, 2015 at 8:24pm

Yes, Lots of questions will follow!!!!!  But remember - We were all Beginners at one stage, so can understand when you ask questions - and there are No Stupid Questions, - so never be shy of asking. After a while, - like most of us, you do things automatically, - never realizing someone else might not understand what is going on, - so questions are good for us too, as they make us slow down and Think about what we are doing, rather than doing it automatically!

Comment by Connie R Eyberg on January 2, 2015 at 11:03am

Thank you all for the warm welcome and encouragement.  I am taking baby steps for now and I'm sure questions will follow.

Comment by Kate Bainbridge on January 2, 2015 at 4:19am
Welcome Connie. As Elizabeth says we are all addicted. You have been given a lifelong present for Christmas.
This is a great group to join everyone is so helpful and kind.
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on January 1, 2015 at 8:58pm

Welcome Connie, - and I hope you get as addicted as the rest of us to this wonderful craft.! what a wonderful Gift you have received - never-ending enjoyment!!!

Ask as many questions as you can think up,. - we all love to help and offer advice - and we all are still learning, as there is always something new to try out!!

Buying new bobbins is never-ending - you will never have 'enough"!! And there is always a new book to buy, or some new thread to try out!!

I am glad you found this site, as it will be the biggest help, if you cannot find a teacher in your area.  

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 1, 2015 at 2:21pm

Every beginner has problems with the bobbins unwinding. The basic problem is to be sure to make the proper hitch. I have some diagrams on my personal website.  

Wind the bobbins tightly a make a proper hitch.

The hitch should look like the diagram above.


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