Point de Gaze

Jean Leader

Lacemaker and Textile Enthusiast

A Length of Point de Gaze Lace

Point de gaze, a needlelace which was made in Brussels, Belgium, in the second half of the nineteenth century, was named for its light, gauzy mesh ground (gaze is the French word for gauze). It became very popular, and was used for items of dress large and small, including flounces, fans, handkerchiefs and wedding veils. The designs for the larger items were very elaborate with a variety of decorative fillings and a profusion of naturalistic flowers, often with added petals to give a three-dimensional effect.

Although my piece is relatively modest, it illustrates all but one of the techniques I described in an article for Lace and an additional one (a ring of twisted stitches) which I didn’t mention there. I found it when rummaging in a local vintage clothing shop — there was no price attached and when I asked, the assistant took one look and said “It’s only machine lace, you can have it for £2.” I was sure it wasn’t but kept quiet, paid up and went home to examine it at leisure.

Detail:  Off   1   2   3   4   5

The lace above is at actual size (on a computer screen), but I have enlarged five details to illustrate aspects of this lace. These can be located on the image by selecting the different numbers, and enlargements (16x magnified) 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

Point de gaze mesh and corded stitch separated by raised edges. The detail has been rotated through 90°.

Detail 2

Ardenza bars

Detail 3

Couronnes with plain and ‘frilly’ edges

Detail 4

Woven wheels

Detail 5

Small couronne in the mesh and a ring of twisted stitches