I was at a heritage fair a few years ago and came across a girl twisting and knotting thread into a delicately designed strip of lace. When I questioned her, she told me it was called bobbin lace.
I am a craft junkie, but I’d never heard of bobbin lace, and I was intrigued that I’d found a new skill to learn.
It’s a lot harder than it looks, and I’ve yet to manage anything I wouldn’t be embarrassed to show anyone.
To me, bobbin lace seems to be the ancestor of the macrame fad in the 70’s, except with fine thread instead of string. As far back as the 16th century, artisans created strips of bobbin lace from cotton and silk threads, and even gold and silver-wrapped threads. The bobbins, which held the thread to prevent it from tangling, were often made from bone or ivory.
The process requires patience, finger dexterity and oh, did I mention patience? It takes a long time to make an inch of lace when you’re working with fine thread. But after watching the girl work to produce a beautiful strip of lace, the end result is definitely worth the time.
Now if only I could get my fingers to work
If you’re interested in seeing how bobbin lace is actually made, here are a few links to tutorial videos. I’d show one here if I could figure out how ïŠ
Want to give it a try?