A piece of lace fabric is an openwork fabric which has holes as patterns that are usually made by removing the threads in the fabric or sewing over the edges of these holes. Lace making for all intents and purposes was not made before the latter part of the 15th century. It soon grew in popularity and spread throughout Europe and is now found all over the world.

Although lace was originally made with the use of gold, silver, silk or linen threads, it is now more commonly made using cotton thread. Although silk and gold threads are still used in the more expensive fabrics, it is not made on a very large scale because of its cost. Most manufactured fabrics now use synthetic fibre for its lace making.

Lace stitches can be crocheted or knitted as well as through methods or techniques known as cutwork or bobbin lace. Tatting is another lace stitch technique that is used to make lace which is made with loops and knots. It is used exceptionally well as a decorative piece or as an embellishment. These are often also used as edging for clothes, scarves, doilies, blankets, etc.

Lace work is thought to have gone as far back as ancient Rome and it is recognized that it flourished in what is now known as Belgium. From that region, it grew in popularity and made its presence felt around Europe. Royalty and the clergy often had lace work on their garments and it was known to be a sign of wealth to be able to have them made with gold and silver threads. There were many signature techniques that were unique to specific regions depending on the stitch and the design. They ranged from Valenciennes lace to Chantilly lace and they were very sought after for their beautiful designs.

There are a couple of different ways that this intricate work is created. One of them is to use a needle and thread and the other is to cut some threads from a fabric and then sewing the edges of the cut away portion. The lace stitches that are used can be very intricate and some look very complicated and delicate. The more delicate and elaborate the work is, the more it cost.

Nowadays, many of the lace fabrics are mass produced by machines. For this purpose, cheaper synthetic fibres are used to keep the cost down. The downside to this is that they are not unique and the same pattern is found in large quantities.

Handmade lace work takes time to complete and for this reason, smaller works are produced. These can be in the form of doilies, headscarves, handkerchiefs trimmed with lace, etc. Many of the items that were handmade from years ago are usually passed down from generation to generation because of its uniqueness.

Lace is used extensively in wedding gowns and it is now one of the key elements in a wedding gown or dress. From flowing veils to delicate gloves, few weddings take place without lace being present as a main element in the wedding attire or as an embellishment.

Although lace is being mass produced, there are still some ‘cottage industries’ that promote lace making in its traditional forms. These fabrics are done by hand and the stitches are intricately done to produce the most beautiful and uniquely designed items.

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