Early Bobbin Lace

Early Bobbin Lace is the lace designed up until the mid 17th century, or approximately 1650.  These early laces were often made freehand, but they are not the same as what has become known as the peasant free hand laces of many regions.  All aspects of early lace are welcome for discussion here, including revival era laces, publications new and old, materials, etc.

Members: 65
Latest Activity: Jun 5

Examples + Resources 

From Caroluskantjes.

From LePompe 

Nuw Modelbuoch available as a free download ;

From Rosemary Shepherd 

Gillian Dye's early lace website + her books ;

Another, source unknown

Katherine Davies,various sources, including Art Institute of Chicago

Lena Dahren, Med kant av guld och silver, En studie av knypplade barder och uddar av meetall 1550-1640,  This study examines bobbin-made borders and edgings in gold and silver during the period 1550-1640. The Swedish collections that were studied are unusually well provenanced, which is very important when studying lace, as there were so many copies of lace made in the 19th century. It is a dissertation presented to Uppsala Universitet in 2010. It is in Swedish, but there are so many beautiful color photos and diagrams that it is still a useful book for the non-Swedish speaker, although it would be even more useful if it were to be translated. One thing that sets it apart is that the author is a skilled lacemaker as well as a scholar. The address given for distribution is but Lena informs me that the only dealer who carries it is Barbara Fay Verlag so potential buyers should contact Barbara Fay Verlag.

The successor to the OIDFA Freehand Lace Study Group-

Book List

These may be a little late--mid 17th c

Discussion Forum

Spangles on lace 23 Replies

I was curious about what research has been done regarding spangles on early lace.I was reading a copy of Extracts from the Accounts of the Revels at Court in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King…Continue

Started by Nancy M. Terselic. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti Jun 5.

Byzantine bobbin lace, 11th century?? 5 Replies

Hello experts--I trawl museum archives for fun, but I'm just an amateur honing my identification skills. I can do ok with some of the early laces at this point. This one, though, I'm surprised…Continue

Started by Mary Mangan. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jun 1.

Stitches used in early bobbin lace 20 Replies

Please, has anyone determined for sure what stitches and connection methods were used in bobbin lace in the 16th Century?  Did they ever just twist the thread rather than plait it?  And did they use…Continue

Started by Laurie Elliott. Last reply by Kimberly Davis Apr 7, 2020.

Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520-1620 11 Replies

Of great interest to Early Lace enthusiasts is the exhibit Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520-1620, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York. This features the…Continue

Tags: #FashionandVirtue

Started by Devon Thein. Last reply by Carolina de la Guardia Mar 17, 2016.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Adele Shaak on April 10, 2019 at 7:40pm

I have it. Lots and lots of eye-candy; even if you don't know a word of Swedish you can spend hours with this book. Lots of photos of historic laces give a really good idea of how metallics were used, a couple of dozen drawings of patterns and plenty of photos that are clear enough for an experienced lacemaker to make the pattern from the photo. 

Comment by Kimberly Davis on April 10, 2019 at 6:50pm
Yes, it is a fantastic book!  It is in Swedish, but has a lot of pictures and a small synopsis in English.  This was Lena's thesis/dissertation. 
Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 10, 2019 at 6:25pm

Has anyone seen this book? It looks like it might be relevant.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 29, 2018 at 5:07pm

Comparison of plates from some different early pattern books.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 10, 2016 at 4:17pm

Laces by an SCA member. Some from old books, some from museum collections. 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on March 16, 2016 at 5:15pm

This collection of laces at the Philadelphia Museum of Art are mostly quite old -- some 16th century and some 17th century (with a mixture of more modern laces). Take the geographical designations with a grain of salt. The photos could be better, but still a good resource for very old laces.

Comment by Nancy M. Terselic on June 25, 2015 at 1:05am

Oooo!   Book 4 is about Insertions and Borders!   This is going on my gift wish list right now!

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on June 24, 2015 at 11:54pm

Yes, I got into Gil's class and it was Fantastic!!!  I had a Ball!!!!!

But that was almost a year ago! Wow, where has the time gone?  I bought all 3 of her latest Early Laces books, and I now see #4 is available.  They are so full of interesting bits of history, etc as well as patterns and instructions - they are gems!

I am trying to find her website, - but the URL has been lost.   Could someone please give me the link.  It is "early laces" or something like that, - but Goggle does not seem to be able to find it for me.  Grrr!!

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on March 13, 2014 at 10:01pm

Thank you Kim. 

I can't see where Kim's message is on here, though the link brought me to this page, - but not the message. that has happened a couple of times recently, though.

I am booked in - Hopefully!!!_- to Gil Dye's class - mornings only - and hoping fervently to get in the class.  Sounds like those who asked for it will get it. Hooray!!! (Just so long as there are enough of us to have the class go ahead!!)

Comment by Nancy M. Terselic on March 10, 2014 at 11:24am

I'm using 44/2 100% bleached linen from Lunatic Fringe Yarns (6,600 yards per pound).  I believe it is wet spun.

I posted a 3 more pictures of the project in My Photos.


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