Search this Blog for anything you thought you might have seen here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Old Lace, Drawn Thread.

I have a drawer full of old lace and embroidery items that I just couldn't throw away after my mother died. I went through it all over again recently when clearing out the drawer and there are some gems... I am so glad that I kept it.

This particular piece meant nothing to me until I started to learn Drawn Thread Work and then I took another look at it and thought WOW!!! now that really is something!

It's quite a large piece at 28 by 20 inches, I suppose it must have been a tray cloth for a large breakfast tray...very posh!

What intrigues me the most and I will never know, is who made it, could it have been my mother when she was young. I know that she did a lot of embroidery and crochet but can't really imagine her making this but as I said I will never know now.

This really deserves a closer look.

The edging is crocheted, around an broad section added on to the center piece.
The center piece is amazing look at the clunies in the corners.

Ah but we must take an even closer look.....

and an even closer look. I can hardly see the cross threads in the linen with my naked eye.

I must admit that after my first lesson and when I saw this cloth I thought that the inserted work had been added. I just couldn't believe that anyone could count and draw out threads from linen this fine. It couldn't be done except with a microscope. But my teacher said that the threads had been drawn out.

I am in awe of whoever made this. Using 28 count thread is tiring but the thread count per inch of this linen must be enormous. It must be 100 threads to the inch at least.

I have to wash it and preserve it, no harsh chemicals, no starch, iron with a damp cloth above and below it and store rolled round a tube in acid free tissue. Rolling it round a tube stops it creasing which could crack the fabric and makes it always crease free to take out and admire.


  1. What a lovely example of lacework! I have a cloth doily that my grandmother crocheted around and two quilts made by my great-grandmother. I love having examples from the past.

  2. This is beautiful! I have some wonderful samples too, made by unknown people. This is also something I'm chomping at the bit to do. Your bookmark is a lovely start!

  3. What a beautiful heirloom. You may want to forego the ironing before storing as ironing will promote 'yellowing' of the fibers.

  4. This is a precious link with your mother, isn't it exquisite! My mother did a lot of Petit point and tapestry,she did wonderful work, until rheumatoid arthritis stopped her. She was taught by her German governess over ninety years ago in Siberia!
    Needless to say,I never learned, I wish so much now that she had taught me. Academic life took up my time when I was younger, and I have promised myself that I will teach my grandchildren the needlecrafts I now enjoy.

  5. I am glad you found this interesting.
    Randi, yes she did say that ironing tends to yellow things..oh but it makes it so much nicer to enjoy.

    Diane you are so lucky to have quilts, there isn't any of that sort of work in my family.

    Gina, I expect you will do some of this work if I know you. It's easy just tedious and I would much rather be tatting but love to know how things are made...makes me appreciate them.

    Maureen, yes I love to have my mothers things. I taught her to tat and she tatted till the day she died at 89 and I have most of her tatting..only to be given away to special people.
    Your mother sounds wonderful,it would be great to pass on one's lacemaking talents to family, I live in hope!!

  6. Wow! This is a beauty. So glad you rediscovered it and can truly apreciate it the way it is meant to be.

  7. Hi Pam,
    I've made you a blog Queen.

    You may accept the award or not.
    There are no rules to follow.
    You may pass it on as you please.
    This is just to let you know that you make my day!

  8. Lady Shuttlemaker, I humbly accept your gracious gesture. ta very much!

  9. What a beautiful drawnwork piece! My grandmother told of ladies who did this and how they would pull some threads out and pull other ones together to make it! I've always been fascinated with it's beauty. I found a piece at an antique store a few years ago. I'll have to find it and show it to you all. :)

  10. Chic you will definitely have to show your treasure.


I love your comments they keep me blogging.
Every comment is much appreciated, but please try not to use my real name in a comment or on your blog. Tatskool is my on line name and one that I really like. Thanks.