Laces Made on a Handmade Scaffolding:
  Filet Lacis and Sol Laces/Tenerife
(Filet Lace and Teneriffe)

  © 2009 Lorelei Halley

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These are laces made on a handmade scaffolding  of threads.  Filet (also called filet lace, lacis, guipure d'art, filet lacis) is made on a square mesh knotted net.  It can be made in the round, but this is rare.  Tenerife (Sol Lace, Nanduti, nhanduti, Teneriffe) is made on a framework laid down like the spokes of a wheel.  Individual motifs are mostly round, but can be square or hexagonal.

Filet Lacis (sometimes called filet lace or filet guipure, filet noué) is made on a square mesh knotted net.    *  It is the oldest form of lace, and samples exist from Egyptian tombs.  The knotted net is made the same way an old time fisherman's net was made, it is just much finer, smaller in scale.   Nowadays we are told it is possible to produce the same net by machine, and one can purchase yardage at reasonable cost (a sure indication that it is not handmade).  The net used must have a knot at each intersection of 2 threads.

This basic net is then decorated by a stitch which imitates the weave of cloth, or by darning stitch.
This site has lessons for a fee:
How to make the net:
It is possible to make the basic net in rounds, to make a round mat, but this is less common.    246 c/o MFB
How to make diamond mesh for a round mat: 

Making the knot square and diamond: 
   367 c/o BH  Another piece worked in rounds.
  Some amazing filet worked in rounds:  She also has a tutorial.

The group below are all decorated with cloth weaving stitch (also called toile):

  filet lace  277  c/o JL  filet lace           

filet lace 316 c/o JL  294 c/o JL

 313 c/o JL filet lacis 312 c/o JL         311 u

 lacis   c/o JL 323   241  c/o MFB  314 c/o JL


This next group shows layered effects with decorations on top of the weaving stitch.

By Grace Lister:

675 GL


By others:

filet lacis  743 c/o LH    This is the reverse side.

 242  c/o MFB   238   c/o MFB   315 filet lacis c/o JL
     243 c/o MFB    245 c/o MFB

Links to filet lacis tutorials, suppliers, basics:   Very good, very slow instructions on how to make the mesh.     Contains lots of instructions for a fee.    Basic instructions for embroidery on square net.  Making the knots  This one is a supplier of knotted net, tools, books, kits.  left handed



Photos of individual pieces:

My pinterest page of filet lacis: 

Tenerife and Nhanduti are both forms of Sol Lace.    *   This type is made on a wheel form in which the spokes are laid threads.  It may be an outgrowth of the very complex corner designs in elaborate double drawn thread work. Large pieces are made up of small motifs stitched together, usually using coral knot.  Round shapes are the most common, but hexagons and squares also occur.

These show the simplest structure, beginners' test samples.
  787 c/o IT      325  m/b LH     633 Last 2 m/b LH
These below are more typical of good work.
tenerife lace            282 c/o JL


  sol lace     281 c/o JL             235 c/o MFB

        324 c/o JL

         783 c/o LBJ

Links to Tenerife (Teneriffe), Nanduti (nhanduti), Sol lace:

More sol laces. my pinterest page of sol laces.

A 9 minute video showing working methods:


This has a video showing nanduti in process, including the cutting away of the cloth backing:

 This one has lots of different motifs, books, tools, many spectacular South American pieces:

A photo of Nanduti in process:

 Individual pieces:  and

Learn How to Make Teneriffe and find free patterns:

Alexandra Stillwell's book on tenerife is available as a free download, and the the DMC Encyclopedia also has a chapter on it.  Both are available from the same source and both contain patterns:

Stillwell, Alexandra. The Technique of Teneriffe Lace, Charles T. Branford, Watertown, Mass , 1980, 149 pages. Note: with permission from the author. Posted May 20, 2009. SAMPLE PAGE.CONTENTS. REVIEW. File size 11.9MB PDF  

Dillmont, Thérèse de. Dentelle Ténériffe [ Teneriffe Lace], Bibliotheque DMC, April 1931, 41 pages. Posted January 11, 2007. SAMPLE PAGE. REVIEW. File size 7.4 MB PDF 

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Last revised December, 2011                       Last edited:   09/30/18