Whether it be the delicate threads tied and twisted together, in graceful web-like masterpieces, surely to make any spider,want to step up their game; or intricate cut work skillfully stitched into dazzling threaded kaleidoscopes, lace can be used as beautiful embellishments, for pretty much everything. Lace adds a dash of romance, to anything it touches. From your fanciest attire, or dressing up window shears and curtains, or to add a dash of whimsy to your favorite jeans, lace is prized all over the world for its intricate beauty and versatility.
Most historians agree that lace was created sometime in the sixteenth century, though there is some debate as to the actual decade, as well as the country of origin. What they all seem to agree on however, is that lace started out as something exceptional, meaning its use was strictly for adorning ceremonial wear of the most important, many of whom were very high-ranking, religious figures of the time. Soon thereafter, lace was a coveted addition to the royals, and then adopted as a popular embellishment for the wealthy. The nature of lace, with it’s very ornate and extremely detailed patterns, along with the required amount of time to produce it, by very skilled and practiced hands, made it very expensive. Up until the 20th century, lace was perceived to be more valuable than gold.
One lace technique is referred to, as cut work. Delicate fabrics are cut into small shapes, pieces much like a puzzle or like the paper snowflakes we cut out as children. The detail edges are embroidered all the way around, then stitched together to form various patterns. The added fabric, acts as reinforcement, to the often-delicate nature of lace. This allows for a bit more durability. It is often applied to more utilitarian pieces, offering graceful lacey details, that hold up better, under normal wear. Cut work is also used as filler for cutouts, where a shape is removed from the fabric then replaced with lace cut work panels, to add drama to the design.
One of the finest presentations of lace, in our lifetime, can be found, at weddings. Some lace pieces are past down from one generation, to the next, carefully preserved, for the family’s next Bride to be. Through the centuries, lace has been used to create gorgeous bridal gowns and veils, lace-covered shoes, delicate stockings, as well as graceful gloves and adornments, to a ladies’ hat. Imagine the most romantic wedding possible… In those softly blurred, dreamlike visions, our bride’s graceful lace accents, adorn a bridal gown, so majestic, the gown appears to be floating, as our bride glides down the aisle. Her flowing train and matching veil, along with tendrils of lace gracefully falling, from beneath the bridal bouquet, are part of the fine details, every little girl, tucks away in her heart, from childhood dreams, of the day she might marry. At her reception, lace may be found embellishing table cloths, and handmade napkins. It may be draped across cake tables, and hung in swags and canopies, for the newly married bride and groom. Many wedding cakes sit atop lace doilies, often hand-crafted by a dear grandmother’s loving hands. The romance can even be added to the wedding cake, using delicate lacy patterns as decorative icing. No little girls’ true fantasy wedding would be complete, without lace details sprinkled about, if not poured out lavishly, according to those deeply personal dreams, of each individual bride-to-be.
In our everyday life adding lace provides us with a sense of femininity and sentimentality. Touches of lace added to collars and cuffs or hemlines, dress up most any piece, in a wardrobe. These can be permanently attached to the garments, but they also come in removable versions for easy care in laundering. Some outerwear, like coats and sweaters, have lace embellishments and a lace shawl or scarf will never go out of style. Poolside or beachside, lace wraps and cover-ups, add that little something special. Used in the home, lace adds charm to everything it touches. Whether your everyday table ware, or your finest china, is set on a lace tablecloth, both will feel elevated, to a higher status. Delicate, lace curtains, gracefully swaying to a gentle breeze, seem to be hypnotic, and a wonderful stress reliever. Heirlooms make a house a home, and some of your great grandmother’s lace table runners or chair shawls, can fill your home with warmth.
Lace is the perfect accent to add a bit of romance and nostalgia to every occasion. Find ways to make it your own, be romantic, be trendy, be unconventional! Be Bold! Dress up your life! Add your own unique signature, to the world!