Hanky corner Is it chemical lace?
Is it real? Is it machine made? Is it chemical lace?
This is an old hanky rescued from an antique store. It is of the softest cotton with a folded hem that is machine stitched with the smallest of stitches. The flowers are also machine embroidered.
You may have heard or read about chemical lace in an article here at BellaOnline.com (http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art51650.asp) or in the lessons of the Online Tatting class. This type of machine-made lace was first heavily embroidered on a fabric background. Then the entire fabric is treated with a chemical which dissolved the fabric leaving only the "lace" behind.
Chemical lace was also called Schiffli Lace after the machine which makes this embroidery. Originally, the chemical baths were highly toxic and polluting so the practice was discontinued. Today there are water soluble, environmentally friendly substances to create this effect for decorative purposes.
So, what is left is the design sections held together by "brides." This is a term from bobbin lace. They are bridges of thread that join sections or motifs of lace to each other. True tatting does not have brides. Instead, sections of tatting are joined by using the picots.
I do think this small design could be interpreted in tatting. The corner piece is a three-leaf clover, so three rings, with the middle one slightly larger. And a stem to attach to the cloth of a small ring. The larger rings could be surrounded by chains.
Or, those could be 2-3 layer onion rings. Or even cluny leaves, hanging cluny leaves. The same is possible for the two side motifs. But they resemble small butterflies to me. Butterflies in profile. A very small alternating ring and chain pattern could be tatted to "tie" the pieces together and to attach to the cloth. Or consider mignonette rows.
So many possibilities. Please give it a try and send it your examples.
Here's the latest article from the Tatting site at BellaOnline.com.
Li'l David's Snowflake by Harolah Cheser Harolah's snowflake features 6 long points with many picots. It comes in two variations, beaded or not, with an open center or one filled with beaded picots.
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Georgia Seitz, Tatting Editor
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