Purfylle: Bobbin Lace

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Bobbin Lace

All together these pages encompass my bobbin lace adventures and inspiration.

I share my first attempt at lace making, my search to find the right equipment for me, and the projects I try my hand at.

I also share my musing on historical bobbin lace being used for cauls, partlets, and garment trims, which are perhaps not in-line with current schools of thought on how such things were done.

Bobbin Lace Projects

My very first attempt at lace making



Bobbin and Lacin' Around



Bobbin Lace has always intrigued and intimidated me. It just looks soooo complex and the one book I do have that explains how to do bobbin lace gave me the impression there would be lots of counting stitches.

Lace Trims


Bobbin Lace Inspiration


You already know that Eleanora's caul influenced me to learn bobbin lace but I want to share with you some of the extant garments that also inspired me.

Embroidery or Lace?


I have always loved the trim on Margurite's gown and always assumed it was
embroidered.


Then I discovered Le Pompe's lace design book first published in 1559, and the trim is the same design as in his book.


I was dithering about what to do with the incomplete Le Pompe lace project that was all curly.

But I needed the bobbins to finish caul v.2 and I needed to dismantle the bolster so I could make the bigger better bolster.

In the end I decided I would do just a little bit more on it to see if making the plaits a little looser had much of an effect on the curling. 

How to make a bobbin lace bolster pillow

.....Of course I've been itching to make something on it ever since I had it all put together.

1585 Geometric Bobbin Lace Design


Gold on white is so striking. This 1585 portrait is covered in gold purfylling and the result is very effective.

Sure, it is likely to be a couched cord design, however there is no reason why that little triangle design couldn't be a  bobbin lace trim.

Roller to Bolster


A handspan into making my first braid on the small roller pillow I realised it was not the right kind of pillow for the type of laces I intended to make which would be primarily long simple braids.


Cauls | Hairnets



The Call to Caul


So what is a caul?
If you googled 'caul' you might have found something about babies being born with a membrane on their head, which is considered to be good luck, however historically a caul is a head covering worn by women usually in the form of a hair net and that is what I will be discussing here .


At the end of my previous post are images from two of the Bronzino portraits of Eleanora di Toledo showing the incredible details Bronzino painted of her cauls and partlets.

Trying Valenciennes net ground


In my last post I talked about why I think bobbin lace techniques were used to make Eleanora's cauls. 
Here are my first attempts to make the same net - I had to wait until I had made enough bobbins, I have used 10 pairs here.

I'd spent a few days thinking about some of the problems that needed to be solved to make Eleanora's caul and having come up with some possibilities it was time to give them a try. So yesterday I made a pricking for a full sized version and got started. I tried to add beads for the first time, however I wasn't happy with the result and decided I should make my caul without beads and test some of my other ideas first.

Caul - how many bobbins was that?


It's taking forever but my first plaited caul is nearly finished. I keep running out of bobbins and have to finish off sections so I can use the bobbins in other sections.


The ends are tied off enough to be able to turn the net over and see how the pearl beads look. I still need to secure the ends a little better and trim them all off but I couldn't wait to show you how it's turned out.

WIP v's UFO


No I'm not talking about Mr Whippy icecream or alien spacecraft.

For those who haven't come across the acronyms before before WIP stands for Work In Progress and UFO for Un-Finished Object.

Now I used to think these two terms were interchangeable and basically the same thing.

But I was wrong.



Yes, the bobbin lace Caul is really
truly finished.

Wool Gathering - Starting Caul v.2


The bobbins are nearly ready for caul version 2.



I don't usually post on Saturday's because that's when I focus on my life instead of my blog.

But I couldn't stand the idea of yesterday's post being the one that was at the top for the whole weekend.

So today I'm giving you progress shots of caul v.2.2 (v.2.1 only got as far as the pricking)

Caul v.2.2


I'm really happy with how this bobbin lace caul project turned out. The shape is earlier then Eleanora's caul but I have found in the past that sometimes it can be really insightful to start with an earlier design to understand how it progressed to the later design.

Bobbin Lace Equipment

Pillows




Pillow Lace Cushions

Before I could make my own bobbin lace kit I had to decide what type of pillow lace cushion I wanted.

There are quite a few styles of lace making pillows and I had no idea what the differences were, but what was obvious to me was that some were flat and some were cylinders for making long braids and laces. A few 'bobbin lace cushion' searches later and I thought I needed a pretty antique* roller cushion style set-up, and I wasn't swayed by how pretty they were at all.

Bobbin Lace Roller Pillow - first attempt


To make my roller pillow I started with the cardboard core that some bamboo yarn had come wrapped around and used that as the basis for my template.

Roller to Bolster


A handspan into making my first braid on the small roller pillow I realised it was not the right kind of pillow for the type of laces I intended to make which would be primarily long simple braids.

New lace bobbins and cookie pillow


These Lacis bobbins are pretty much the cheapest wooden bobbins available and I thought you might want to know how much they were. (yep, that's my affiliate links so if you use that link your helping me out too!)

So I covered my cookie pillow in some hideous plain weave cotton that holds it's shape well and gets used only for toiles. It will suffice until I find something more suitable.


How to make a bobbin lace bolster pillow


I dismantled my makeshift bolster pillow for parts.

Bobbins


New lace bobbins and cookie pillow


These Lacis bobbins are pretty much the cheapest wooden bobbins available and I thought you might want to know how much they were. (yep, that's my affiliate links so if you use that link your helping me out too!)

So I covered my cookie pillow in some hideous plain weave cotton that holds it's shape well and gets used only for toiles. It will suffice until I find something more suitable.


BBQ to Bobbins


I didn't really know how many bobbins I was going to need for the types of lace I wanted to make.

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