Embroidery on Hexagonal Net
  Tulle Embroidery, Tulle Lace

  Limerick and Tambour (Chain Stitch) Embroidery

  © Lorelei Halley 2009 

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During the period 1760-1820 several inventors were working to invent machines that could make plain clear net.  The first attempts were modifications of machines that could reproduce stockings.  By 1808 a clear net which closely imitated bobbin made net became possible, with improvements appearing in the 1820s.  At this point, the commercial production of these hexagonal nets made new forms of lace possible.  Embroiderers began using these machine nets as the fabric and two basic kinds of embroidery were used to decorate them.  See Pat Earnshaw LACE MACHINES AND MACHINE LACES, 1986, for a detailed history of these inventions and how they worked.

Needle run embroideries (also known as Limerick) were basically darning stitches in many variants to fill some spaces and accentuate some holes.

    309 c/o JL

    374 m/b LK

    396  c/o DON

     361 LK This one uses both chain stitches and other stitches: a combination of needlerun and tambour methods.

Some beautiful pieces by a modern lacemaker, Hazel Slater.

needlerun  HS  needlerun          needlerun

Tulle embroidery seems to be quite popular among Spanish lacemakers nowadays.  They have posted many photos of tulle embroidery on picasa.     lace part begins at 2:37 minutes into video.

Needle run embroidery in process:

Tambour embroideries were made entirely in chain stitch, worked with a tambour hook (similar to a crochet hook).  Chain stitch can also be made with a needle, and these are indistinguishable from the tamboured ones.

   350 c/o BH       These last two show the reverse side, and if you compare to the 2nd picture you can distinguish the chain stitches.   Tambour work begins at 1:37 minutes.

Collection of Photos 

A new site for discussion of all forms of handmade lace, including embroidered net:

November 20, 2010