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Technique of bobbins lace

The design of lace is made on cardboard fixed on the pillow.


This motif is constituted of a multiplicity of small points, representing the future places of pins. They are all pierced before the beginning of work.

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From the left to the right :


- a tool to remove the pins,

- another tool to drive in the pins,

- a tool to pierce holes in the cardboard and a dart to maintain a broken thread during its mending.

These tools are indispensable to the lacemakers.
A cardboard for a torchon lace.


You can see on this cardboard the lace design and the holes realized to welcome the pins.


The work to pierce holes in the cardboard can be very long if the number of holes is great but it's useful to put the pins without effort at the good place.

Brass pins

These large pins of 6.69 in are useful to maintain the bobbins the ones above the others when they are very numerous.

The bobbins laces are all made from the same technique which consisted to interweave some threads, what this typical weaved aspect gives. Each point, constituted by one or several crossings, is fixed thanks to a pin, this one been removed when the work is finished. Of course, it existes all kinds of crossings which can be bound between them with numerous ways.


Each bobbin furnishes some thread at the lacemaker during the whole time of her work. A lacework can required a very great number of bobbins : up to 1500 ones for a lace made by a mistress lacemaker. An experience has been made with 2000 bobbins, however, it hasn't been began again, we understand why !

Duchess hook

Unfortunatelly, this photo isn't very good. This hook is particularly fine and it's used to pick up the threads in order to bind bobbins at the beginning and end of motive for non-continuous laces.

Means to realize bobbins lace

We must do the difference between two kinds of bobbins lace : the continuous thread lace and the non-continuous thread lace.


For the continuous thread lace, the same number of bobbins is used from the beginning to the end, in the most frequent cases. The lace is began at the top of pillow and finished at the foot.


For the non-continuous thread lace, each motif is made separately, then the number of bobbins is different. The lacemaker must add or remove some threads, according to the motive is large or thin. In addition, this lace follows the way of design. It must be realized on a round pillow.

Also see in this web site :


Books about bobbins lace
Making laces and history of laces

History of bobbins lace


Torchon lace

Description of this simple bobins lace.


Cluny lace

Description of this beautiful lace.


Duchess lace

Binche lace

Honiton lace

Rosaline lace


Discover several interesting web sites