Thursday, January 7, 2021

Lace Making – First Day Cover

Lacemaking has been around since the 1500s. There were two main types of lace: bobbin lace and needle lace. Lace was first produced in Belgium and Italy, but no one knows which type was first. Lace was portable and could show a person’s wealth. Even Queen Victoria in 1840 wore a white wedding gown covered in lace. Machine lace didn’t happen until the Great Depression and during that time, all luxuries were put on hold. Lace is made by interlacing threads of cotton, silk, or wool into beautiful patterns. In the beginning, lace patterns involved geometric designs and symbols of animals and humans. Eventually, new patterns showed florals.

Today, there are several different types of lace. Bobbin lace is made by using bobbins of threads and pinning them into a pattern. Needlepoint lace uses a single thread and making embroidery type stitches. Crocheted lace is one of the most popular and uses different crochet stitches in an intricate design. Darned lace uses a darning stitch with a needle to make the designs. Knotted lace involves covering lace with different types of knots. Macrame and Tatting are types of knotted lace forms.

The 22 cents lacemaking postage stamp was part of the American Folk Art Series. It was issued on August 14, 1987, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. There was a block of four designs created by Michigan lacemakers and each design shows a different lace pattern.

Class Activities:

  • Make a simple lace item.
  • Research one type of lace and give a presentation to the class.
  • Make a poster showing images of the different types of lace.
  • Find fashion images of people wearing lace.
Original photo of a First Day Cover from husband’s collection by Pat Hensley

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