Of Lace, Antique and Otherwise.

Ever since we bought our little 1920s house, Robb and I have found ourselves at a lot of estate sales.  It seems he and I have the taste of extremely wealthy ninety year olds.  
One thing that I always look for are handmade textiles.  I have a visceral response to these things, and feel genuinely sad that nobody wants the beautiful handmade objects that someone once labored over.   
Today, I brought home a collection of hand made lace.  The top photograph is a tablecloth that seems to be made of linen, in some kind of netting and embroidery technique.  

This lace runner is clearly part of the same pattern of grapes and leaves around a geometric center.

Likewise, these all seemed related to the tablecloth and runner.  Same motif of grapes and grape leaves.  I’m not sure what the purpose of these object might have been.  The lower row of lace is puzzling to me.  Where might these have been used?

In some ways, these are somewhat primitive forms of lace.  The stitches are fairly large. The yarn used is coarse, by standards of antique lace.  I’m guessing that these objects are made of linen, because of their lovely stiffness.

Despite my calling these items “coarse,” I could hope to make something as lovely and delicate as this lace.  I’m simply delighted to have it in my home.

All this lace is dusty and dirty.  I’m reading up on how to care for — and clean — this sort of thing.  If any of my blog readers happen to be experts in care of antique textiles, I’d sure like to hear what you have to say.  For now, we’re going to bag them up because both Robb and I are super-allergic their dustiness.

On a somewhat related note, I finally finished this red cotton lace scarf that I’ve had on my knitting needles for far too long.  It’s a fascinating stitch pattern, that takes advantage of the natural tendency for knitted lace to slant or “bias.”



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