Brussels Application

Jean Leader

Lacemaker and Textile Enthusiast

Brussels Application Stole

This stole of Duchesse-style bobbin lace appliquéed to machine-made net is also part of the collection of lace given me by a former student (see A Fan) and probably dates from the late nineteenth century. It is 45 cm wide and 260 cm long so what you see below is less than half. The bobbin lace motifs have needlelace fillings of spots and rings, and there are even some small areas of needlerun filling.

One end of the stole

Detail:  Off   1   2   3   4   5

I have enlarged five details to illustrate aspects of this style of lace, and these can be located on the image by selecting the different numbers. The enlargements can be found below. (Scroll down; or click/tap on the detail on the image to be taken directly to the enlargement and description.)

Detail 1

Needlelace fillings in one of the flowers at about 3× magnification

Detail 2

Another flower with needlelace fillings at about 2.5× magnification. The flower itself is worked neatly but the leaflets on the left and several of the tendrils are finished with a bunch of tied threads. The spots in the net are rather untidy — see 5 for one of them at 15× magnification.

Detail 3

The filling on the left is needlerun, the one on the right is needlelace, about 3× magnification.

Detail 4

The back of a motif — the net has been cut away behind the open filling, about 3× magnification.

Detail 5

The machine-made net at about at about 15× magnification. The structure is similar to hand-made point ground but because there are more twists giving longer sides, the meshes are diamond-shaped rather than round or hexagonal. (In lace machine terminology the net identical to point ground is a 2-twist net and the one here is a 3-twist net. It’s all to do with the way the machines work but is confusing for bobbin lacemakers nonetheless!)