Edgings: Types of Lace

by Carla Hufstedler September 06, 2019

Edgings: Types of Lace

As a shopper, you’ll see many edgings described on fabrics. Your major choices—across fabric, jewelry, and even footwear—are going to broadly be lace, beading, flowers, embroidery, cut shapes, tulle, and jewels or crystals of some sort. Over the next few blog entries we will explore these edgings in order to help you make educated decisions for your special day. Three types of lace you’ll see in our store are Alencon lace, Chantilly lace, and Tulle (yes, tulle is a type of lace!) Alencon or point d’Alencon lace is known as the “Queen of lace”, and originates in the town of its namesake, in Normandy, France, dating from the 17th century. The technique of making this intricate, flowery needle lace by hand was introduced into the area initially by Louis XIV’s minister Jean-Baptist's Colbert, in 1665; the court actually brought Venetian lacemakers into Normandy to teach the women of Alencon the secrets of how to make their lace. Needle lace is created by first tracing the designs onto parchment, then working the design with needles, and then painstakingly working and pulling the paper away from the created lace. These techniques were preserved and handed down by local Carmelite nuns, and in 1976, the town of Alencon opened a National Lace Making Workshop to make certain that the technique was never lost. Ten intricate steps are involved in making this beautiful lace. In 2010, UNESCO, the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, recognized the amazing and complicated craftsmanship of this special style of lace, and added it to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. As opposed to Alencon lace, which is made on needles, Chantilly lace is made on wound bobbins. It also originates in France—though named for the town of Chantilly, it was created in the historic city of Bayeux and also Geraardsbergen, which is now part of Belgium. This bobbin style of making Chantilly lace also dates back to the 17th century, but this silky, flowery style of lace—sometimes made of linen, but almost always made of silk—became trendy to the fashionable public in the 18th century. The original Chantilly laces were black, and very rarely white; they were popular in Spain, and worn often in mantillas (which is a veil type that we sell!). In the 19th century, most fashionable American women had either white or black Chantilly lace shawls, brought home from their traditional Tour of the Continent, made in Brussels most likely. Chantilly lace is bordered with a flat, untwisted strand of lace known as cordonnet. It is known for its six-pointed star background, the reseau, against which intricate flowers are set. The lace is created in four-inch strips, then joined with an invisible stitch. The image for this blog post is antique Chantilly lace. Want to feel fancy…and a little dangerous…in your Chantilly lace veil? This lace was a pet favorite of Marie Antoinette and Madame du Barry, King Louis XV’s mistress. The French Revolution began in 1789, and the lace-makers were seen as special workers of the royal family. After Madame du Barry and Marie Antoinette were executed in 1793, the Chantilly lace makers were also executed. Let them eat cake…and wear lacy dresses! So how did it come back? We love historical trivia here at Cassandra Lynne, especially when it involves bridal traditions. We have this gorgeous bridal lace thanks to Napoleon I. He sponsored a revival of the craft of creating this bobbin lace in Normandy, in the Bayeux area and Geraardsbergen. As for tulle…tulle is defined as a see-through, usually stiffened lace—through materials used in creation or afterwards using starches—made from nylon, polyester, rayon, or silk. Its main purposes are veils, gowns, and ballet costuming. It can be readily dyed unless made from polyester. This type of lace comes from Tulle, France, a southern city known in the 18th century for its quality lace and silk. One point about choosing tulle for a veil is that it is more opaque than a typical bridal veil, so that it may be a good choice for modesty reasons, i.e., covering your shoulders during the religious ceremony, then removing the veil and uncovering your shoulders and/or décolletage for the reception. We sell both veils and hair jewelry in tulle. As of this blog post’s dates, we carry three different lengths of tulle veils: A Boho-inspired tulle: 90” x 54” veil, in ivory and white A fingertip English tulle veil: 36” x 54” veil, in ivory and white A two-layer English tulle veil: the layers are 25’ x 54” and 30” x 54”, in ivory and white The two pieces of tulle hair jewelry we offer at this time are lovely, affordable and creative pieces. In both, the tulle is used to craft and shape flower petals: Wedding Hair Pin of Crystals, Pearls, and Tulle Ivory Tulle Flowers and Pearls Wedding Clip Source of image: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Detail_van_sjerp_in_Chantilly_kloskant,_1850-1880.jpg

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