The Structures of Antique Lace

      A Personal Collection

Marla Mallett  

As both a fiber artist and student of historic ethnographic textiles, my textile interests have most often focused on the ways that techniques and structures shape designs. How fascinating, then, are the mysterious attractions of antique lace!  On the following pages I have posted about 100 pieces that illustrate ingenious structural designing in a rich variety of enchanting lace styles. Intimate details reveal their construction. Welcome to both lacemakers and antique lace collectors!

Click on the titles below to see examples. 

  Needlepoint Lace

  Bobbin Lace - 1
  Bobbin Lace - 2

  Other Handmade Lace

   Assorted Small Laces

A Brief Bibliography : Laces

The History of Lace.  Margaret Simeon.  London, 1979.  Superbly illustrated survey of European bobbin and needle laces.  

Bobbin and Needle Laces: Identification & Care.  Pat Earnshaw. 1983, McMinnville, Oregon.  Excellent survey of bobbin and needle lace types. 

The Identification of Lace.  Pat Earnshaw.  1980, Aylesbury.  Excellent small paperback identification guide.

Lace in Fashion From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries.  Pat Earnshaw. 1985, London.  Excellent survey of lace in European costumery.

Old Italian Lace. Elisa Ricci. 1913, London. Two Volumes.  These large classic volumes are lavishly illustrated with antique examples of early needle and bobbin lace.  Only available through rare book dealers.

Lace: History and Fashion.  Anne Kraatz. 1989, New York. A lavishly illustrated historical survey.

Lace: The Elegant Web.  Janine Montupet and Ghislaine Schoeller. 1990, New York.  A large coffee-table book with large colored photos of both antique laces and costumery showing their use.    

Victorian Lace.  Patricia Wardle. 1968, New York.  Lace manufacture throughout the 19th century, including the beginnings of machine lace.  Chapters on lace in France, Belgium, Ireland. 

A History of Lace. Mrs. Bury Palliser. 1975, London.  Reprint 1971, Detroit.  A classic on the subject.  

The Romance of the Lace Pillow, Being the History of Lace-making in Bucks, Beds, Northants and Neighbouring Counties, Together with Some Account of the Lace Industries of Devon and Ireland. Thomas Wright. 1919, Olney, Bucks.  Bobbin lace history from an English perspective. 

Lace Machines and Machine Laces.  Pat Earnshaw. 1986, London. A thorough study of manufactured lace fabrics.

The Lace Book.  Jessie F. Capllin. 1952, New York.  A useful little book which compares the structures of machine lace with the bobbin and needle lace which it copies. 

Irish Lace. Ada Longfield. 1978, Dublin. A good small booklet surveying Irish lace types.

Ayrshire and Other Whitework. Margaret Swain.  1982, Aylesbury.  Very small paperback publication dealing with this one specialized type of needlework.

An Introduction of Lace.  Gabrielle Pond.  1973. New York. Small book with brief survey.

Complete Book of English Bobbin Lace. Pamela Nottingham. 1976, London. An excellent how-to-do-it with step-by-step directions on making Torchon and Bucks Point laces.  

A Manual of Hand-Made Bobbin Lace Work. Margaret Maidment
1976, London. Another how-to-do-it book on Torchon and Bucks Point lace.

The Technique of Needlepoint Lace.  Nenia Lovesey. 1980, New York. Directions for making needle lace, along with a brief history. 

Armenian Needlelace and Embroidery.  Alice Odian Kasparian.  1983, McLean, Virginia.  A survey of pieces produced with circular knotted netting along with instructions for the technique.
For textiles from around the world, go to our HOME page.

1690 Johnson Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30306  USA

Phone:  404-872-3356


Marla Mallett