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Types of tapes that I have used (successfully):
Solid cloth stitch
Solid half stitch
Cloth stitch, twisting workers half way through each line
Cloth stitch and twist
I have also tried twisting every passive (tape g below) and twisting centre passives different ways (tape h below), but the tape didn't look impressive. Tape h used thicker threads for the twisting, which I didn't do. It could be that my tape was too thin for tape g technique to work. See pattern 313.
The cloth stitch or half stitch gives the middle of the tape. You have to consider the edges, as well. There are three ways to do it:
Workers round pin and back again
Footside without passives
Winkie pin twisted footside
I think that the "footside without passive" is best. It gives a neat edge, and it also means that the worker pair gets swapped at each row, so you are less likely to run out of thread!
You can have different edges on the two sides (as above). The footside edges give holes which make it easier to join future lace to this part of the tape. But if you know that nothing is going to join on this side, and a footside might get in the way, or look cluttered, then a straight-forward edge may be preferable.
From "Pillow lace - a practical handbook by Elizabeth Mincroff and Margaret Marriage (1907).
|a: simple band of cloth-stitch|
|b: a long explanation, which boils down to the centre being cloth stitch and the edge being a Winkie pin with one twisted passive.|
|c: plain half stitch|
|d: a raised appearance may be produced by introducing one or two coarse threads among the passives. If one is used it will lie in the middle of the passives.|
|e: If two coarse threads are used, they can be either together in the middle or (in a straight tape) one at each edge.|
|f: Twisting the workers between the two centre pairs of passives here and there forms little holes which lighten the tape.|
|g: All the passives may be twisted at regular intervals. Or if a coarse pair be employed in the middle, this may be twisted each time above the workers and these later simply passed between the two coarse threads. The result is like a twisted cord running down the middle of the tape.|
|h: This proceeding may be doubled to obtain the appearance of a raised plait. There must be two pairs with coarse thread; the right-hand pair is invariably twisted toward the left, and the left-hand pair toward the right. German workers call this "Kettelschlag", chain-stitch.|
|i: Both workers and passives may be twisted before every stitch. This is an effective variation, giving lightness to the tape.|
Double band of cloth-stitch with two pairs of workers which constantly meet to part again in the middle of the tape.
Coloured threads can be introduced. This serves to accentuate the design where the lace is close woven and intricate.
My comments on the above:
The 'edged' tape (b) seems to be a Winkie pin with one twisted passive. I think that a footside without passives gives a stronger edge and a better look. It may not be authentic, though.
The 'coarse' threads may be what we would call gimps. However, a gimp is a single thread, and these explanations seem to be usually talking of a pair of coarse threads. They would not be worked like gimps, more like an ordinary pair. The 'chain-stitch' does needs one pair to be twisted in an unconventional direction.
From "The Honiton Lace book" by "Devonia".
My comments on the above:
The first tape is the same as a above. "Whole stitch" is cloth-stitch.
The second is more complicated.
There were other tapes given, but they looked too complicated to be used for what I would call bobbin tape lace.
From Devon pillow lace: its history and how to make it by A. Moody (1908)
Ten-stick: and Turning Stitch - The word "bobbin" is very rarely used in Devonshire, the women always speaking of "lace sticks"; hence the name "ten-stick" given to the narrow one-edge braid made with five couples of bobbins. It is used for narrow stalks, open rings, and also in raised work. Only a single row of pin-holes are needed.
The five couples will be hung up a required, either over a pin or attached by sewing to some part of the lace already made. Each couple is given a single twist before starting. The workers will be the last pair on the right, and they will be brought across in whole stitch [cloth stitch] to the edge couple, twisted, the pin put in, and the edge made as usual.
Turning stitch - On reaching the last couple on the right, Whole Stitch is repeated a second time, and the inner couple of bobbins, lying second from the edge, are then taken into use and work back again to the pin without any of the usual twisting.
My comments on the above:
I've heard of ten-stick, and this seems to describe how to do it. No picture, alas! There are only 5 pairs, which must mean 4 passive pairs and a worker pair. It only has one 'edge', which must refer to the pinned edge. The pinned edge sounds as if the workers work across the edge pair in cloth stitch, the workers twist, pin, then the workers work back again in cloth stitch.
The other side sounds more complicated. There is no pin, and is doesn't explain how to stop all the passives getting squeezed together too much, the gentle hand of the lacemaker, perhaps! It describes a "turning stitch" but it doesn't sound like what I call a turning stitch. It sounds as if the workers work across the edge pair in cloth stitch, and then straight back again without twisting or putting a pin in ("Whole Stitch is repeated a second time"). In that case, the "the inner couple of bobbins, lying second from the edge" would still be the workers from the previous row - the workers would stay the same. But I may be misunderstanding it.
© Jo Edkins 2017 - return to lace index