Understanding The Lace Fabric

Carmen D. Lade

Lace fabric is an open work fabric that consists of a network of yarns that are formed into intricate designs. There are two main types of laces: hand and machine made. Although, the two types come with their pros and cons, it’s usually difficult to differentiate the two using your naked eyes. The easiest way of going about it is using a magnifying glass.

If you take a look at the fabric and the lace lacks an obvious path, chances are that it’s machine made. If on the other hand you take a look at the fabric and you see that it has an obvious path, it’s most likely handmade.

Uses of Lace Fabric

The fabric has many applications. For example, it’s used in decorating apparel and home furnishings where the narrow laces are used for trims and insertions. Wide laces are used for curtains, table cloths and garments.

Laces are made using different designs. The most common designs are:

All-over laces: these are 36″ in width and they are made in such a way that the pattern spreads all over the width of the fabric. The pattern also repeats itself in the fabric’s length.

Flouncing: these are laces that are 18-36″ wide and come with a plain edge at the top. They also come with a scalloped edge at the bottom. The flouncing is used for wide ruffles. In most cases the ruffles are arranged in tiers in order to form a skirt.

Edging: this is lace that is no more than 18″ in width. It’s usually straight at the top and scalloped at the bottom. It’s usually sewn to the edge of a gown, dress, lingerie, blouse or handkerchief.

Medallion: the lace comes in a single design that is applied to a fabric that is ground for ornamentation. The lace is usually used in the corners of towels or napkins. Here it’s used as an ornament for blouse, lingerie or dress.

Parts of Lace Construction

A lace fabric has many parts that play a major role in identifying the various types of laces. These parts include:

Bride: it’s the fine yarn that forms the mesh. It forms the mesh which provides the background between the prominent parts of the pattern.

Cordonnet: it’s the heavy yarn that outlines the pattern

Toile: this one represents the predominant parts of a pattern that is made by knotting, twisting, braiding and looping.

Picot: it’s a decorative loop that is used both in the pattern and edge of the lace.

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