Example of bobbin lace picots. Note single thread making a loop without being knotted, rather a short cut!
Complete lace: http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/lace/collection/lace76.htm

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Comment by Jo Edkins on October 15, 2014 at 4:33am

Fair enough. I've altered the description to be slightly less withering - saying it's a short cut, which I think is reasonable. I'd hate people to think that this was the only type of picot! The important thing for this album is to point out that this types of picot happen in hand-made lace.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 14, 2014 at 5:46pm

As to whether the plain single picots are acceptable -- many books and lace teachers teach them.  I have found in practice that beginning lace makers have a lot of problems understanding how to make the knotted ones (which I prefer).  Even with my large diagrams they have trouble following and understanding exactly where to put the pin during the process. Consequently I am thinking about moving to the plain single thread picots for absolute beginners -- just so they can make SOME KIND of picot very early on.  And then I would save the knotted picots for when they have a little more experience.

I looked through my photos for one with knotted picots showing clearly, but couldn't find one. I will have to re-scan some of them to get good examples. In a few days, maybe.

Comment by Jo Edkins on October 14, 2014 at 6:13am

 Most of my lace collection with picots is Bedfordshire, I think, or East Midlands, anyway. I've got several examples of single picots, and I looked at them carefully - none of them were knotted. This was the clearest example demonstrating this. I think of 'legitimate' picots as knotted singles, and doubles which are secured by making sure that the base of the loop is pinched by a thread either side, as you describe. I think of 'illegimate picots' as a single loop not knotted, as above, or a double twisted loop which isn't secured, so makes a U shape, which you can see on one of my other examples. Perhaps I'm being too harsh! Do you think this single, unknotted (so unsecured) loop is acceptable? To tell the truth, I didn't want to encourage modern lacemakers to get away with this kind of thing! I think I'll alter the description to take out the 'not a standard technique', but I'll leave in the bit about being a short-cut - which it is, after all!

I wanted to show all four techniques in hand-made lace, to show that they are not diagnostic for machine lace. I've only got three, as I don't have an example of a knotted picot. Or rather, I've got one I've done myself, but I want my album to be historic, not modern, examples. If someone could send me a good close-up of a historic knotted picot, then I'll add it to this album.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 13, 2014 at 11:00pm

I am aware of 3 kinds of bobbin lace picots: single thread, knotted single thread, and double thread. The double thread seem to be used most often in very fine thread laces, and the knotted ones most often in Cluny and tape laces.

These are what I would call "single thread picots", the simplest kind.  Personally, I avoid using them, because I don't think loop stays twist reliably.

Comment by Helen Bell on October 13, 2014 at 4:11pm

Single picots are a standard technique, and in fact seen in plenty of antique English lace, as well as some black Le Puy.  I've got lots of examples of them, and they are one of the requirements in the Stage 1 plaited lace proficiency test with the Australian Lace Guild.  Singles, as far as I know, are usually knotted (Refer to Cook's practical skills book). 

Double picots are when you make the picot, twisting the first thread around the pin, then counter wrapping the 2nd thread around it, and when you tension the 2nd thread, it's snaps down into place, and is locked with 2more twists.

Single picots would've been faster to work, so they would've preferred them, back in the day, when making lace for income.  I rarely use them, except with heavier thread, like 50 linen.

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