I run a small history museum in Hillsboro, Kansas, and we received a donation of two pillowcases, and I would like to identify the type of lace on them so that we can have better information about them. The pillowcases are believed to have been made for an 1806 wedding of a Low German Mennonite couple in Russia whose ancestry stretches back to Flanders. The groom's father was a linen weaver according to 1808 census data. The lacework is on the closed (not the open end) of the pillowcases, which strikes me as unusual. Here are my questions:

1) What is the type of lace and how is it made?

2) Is it plausible that it was made in 1806 in Russia by people of Flemish ancestry?

3) Both pillowcases have "PF 1806" for the groom Peter Fast, married in 1806, but there is nothing for the bride Helena von Bergen, which strikes me as odd. Any thoughts on this?

Thank you for sharing about your beautiful art!

Views: 67

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Steve and Welcome!

I can only address the lace sections. They are considered an embroidery technique called drawn thread embroidery. The lacey sections are created by withdrawing threads, both vertical and horizontal, leaving an open base. The edges are secured, as are the cross bars in the open areas. The designs are then woven into the grid, using running stitches or darning stitches, depending on the area and motif used. 

I'll be excited to learn more about the cases from our other members!

It appears to me to be some very simple drawn thread work.  A couple of things I find curious (in addition to the facts that the work is on the closed end of the pillow case and only the groom's initials appear):  1.  The fabric has a very high sheen, not something I would have expected in a natural fiber, and 2.  The initials are done in Latin letters, not something I would have expected to be common in Russia.

Trinity, I would attribute the sheen to well loved washed and pressed linen. Linen fabrics and laces will develop this sheen after years of use. Irons and mangles tend to press the fiber together and create that beautiful luster.

Trinity said:

It appears to me to be some very simple drawn thread work.  A couple of things I find curious (in addition to the facts that the work is on the closed end of the pillow case and only the groom's initials appear):  1.  The fabric has a very high sheen, not something I would have expected in a natural fiber, and 2.  The initials are done in Latin letters, not something I would have expected to be common in Russia.

They were German-speakers living in Russia, so they used the Latin alphabet.

Trinity said:

 2.  The initials are done in Latin letters, not something I would have expected to be common in Russia.

Thanks for clarifying that.  Their native language wasn't clear to me from the initial post.

Steve Fast said:

They were German-speakers living in Russia, so they used the Latin alphabet.

Thank you all for identifying the technique. That is amazing to me that you can pull threads out without the whole pillowcase unraveling.

There are also four repeating figures in the lace nearest the end that wraparound to the other side, so you can only see them if you spread out the end of the pillowcase. Can anyone identify what they are? Do they have special significance?

I agree that the open work on the edge is drawn thread embroidery. That kind often had darned motifs worked quite densely. The pictorial parts of the lacey edge appear to be that kind of work.

The first is a deer or stag, second is the bush or berry (possibly tree of life), third is a bird (maybe a peacock), forth is an urn, fifth is a repeat of deer, sixth is the bush again. Each is symbolic and varies by locale. 

Steve Fast said:

Thank you all for identifying the technique. That is amazing to me that you can pull threads out without the whole pillowcase unraveling.

There are also four repeating figures in the lace nearest the end that wraparound to the other side, so you can only see them if you spread out the end of the pillowcase. Can anyone identify what they are? Do they have special significance?

Thank you to everyone for your great information. I have little sewing skill (reattaching buttons is about it), but I'm amazed and impressed by the beautiful lacework that I have seen as I have researched these pillowcases. Thank you for keeping these skills alive and sharing them.

Steve Fast

Hillsboro Museums

RSS

Translate This Site

PAGES

Pages for Needle Lace

Pag    search

Beginners     search

Notes

HOW THE SOFTWARE WORKS

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

PHOTOS

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.

COMMUNITY GUIDELINES

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.

Groups

Members

Badge

Loading…

Events

Other Events

Laurie Waters has a very substantial EVENTS list on lacenews.

http://lacenews.net/lace-event-calendars/).   

EU Cookie Directive

© 2021   Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service