October 2010

What is Bruges Lace?

I have talked about lace making and different types of lace in previous issues of this newsletter. Lace has always been used for decorating garments. It became popular as a replacement for embroidery as a piece of lace could be removed and replaced with a new one. There are so many beautiful kinds of lace that I feel I haven’t done it justice if I do not write about it. This time I would like to write about Bruges lace.

Bruges is a small town in Belgium with a long history of lace making. Bruges' name has become synonymous with lace as lace making was taught there since the sixteen century. Although lace making by hand is not an efficient way of manufacturing lace, the people of Bruges are trying to keep their tradition alive. They established the “Lace Center” in their beautiful city in 1972 and have had marvelous samples on display ever since.

There are two different types of lace worked in Bruges. One is a type of bobbin lace. The other, called “Brussels Lace” or “Battenberg Lace,” is sold in Brussels.

Bruges bobbin lace was very intricate and used up to 700 bobbins. The fine thread that was used for this type of lace created very fine and delicate designs.

Brussels lace or Battenberg lace consists of ribbons worked with bobbins then sewn together in a beautiful curvaceous fashion creating garments, doilies, and tablecloths. Some smaller pieces are used for decorating curtains, veils, and wedding gowns. This type of lace can be easily translated into crochet. There are many outstanding samples of crocheted Bruges lace available. The advantage of making crocheted Bruges lace is that the pieces are joined as the work progresses and there is no sewing involved.

For more information about Bruges lace check out: http://belovedlinens.net/lace/Bruges.html

And for samples of Crocheted Bruges lace check out: http://arsuna.blogspot.com/search/label/bruges%20lace

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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