Learning Bobbin Lace
  Tape Lace Lesson

  Instructions for DMC #47

  © Lorelei Halley 2012 


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In American English, this type of bobbin lace is called "tape lace", but in British English it is called "braid lace".


DMC #47    tapelace 


This very pretty lace is from T. Dillmont's DMC book Die Kloeppelspitzen, pattern #47. Its copyright is expired. I modified the pattern slightly to make it just a little easier.  The only techniques involved in this piece are:

1. Learning to make the tape itself. If you have worked through my cloth stitch lesson and worked a sample to match every diagram in that lesson, you will know how to make this tape.

2. Making a turning stitch where the tape goes around a curve. There are many different ways to do turning stitches, depending on the particular style of lace, the way the tape itself is set up, and the pattern itself (what works best in that particular situation).  Sometimes it is called "gaining on a pin". It is very basic and virtually all tape lace designs use some version of turning stitch.

3. Making sewings. This is called "taking a sewing" in English (probably because Honiton lace makers use a needle upside down to do it). Other languages often use the word for crocheting or hook -- crochetage, hakeln, aanhaking, sammenhaekling, etc. This is the essential distinguishing technique that defines all part laces, whether tape laces or those with discrete motifs.
The only prerequisite is the cloth strip lesson.  Work a sample of each, expecially the 3rd from the right.
On the original size pattern I used Fawcett's #70/2 linen. That is comparable in size to #80 tatting cotton, or Bockens linen 60/2. It requires only 6 pairs. I started in the middle of one side, in an area where there was a straight stretch of footside. When starting a tape lace pattern choose a place where the join will be relatively inconspicuous, and where it won't interfere in the flow of the design. 
   This diagram shows the overall general strategy.  I set the tape up like the little red and purple diagram.  There are 5 passive pairs and one weaver pair.  The purple intersections are ctc. The red intersections are tctc. 

   The green dots are where you do turning stitch on the right hand side of the tape.  The dark blue dots are where you do turning stitch on the left hand side of the tape.  The red dots are where you do sewings. The little black hatch mark is an extra twist put on the weaver in that place, so it matches the place where the weaver approaches the edge passive.  Also as the weaver goes around the pin give it 3 twists. This will make a nice large loop and it will be easier to do sewings if you have a large loop to sew into.

   The orange dots are where you start a long sewing by laying down a long weaver loop. The purple dot is where you complete the long sewing by sewing the current weaver into all the long loops laid down previously at that pin.

Start at the Blue line.
Red rings - turning stitches
Green rings - single sewings
Orange rimgs - long sewings

Click to see all the detail.

Hang on like this. Each line represents 1 thread.
Each line represents 1 pair.  Red intersections are tctc.  Purple intersections are ctc.
  There are several different ways that the tape can be made. You can add more twists in certain positions. The twists open up a space between the pairs.  You can also make the tape solid all across, with no extra twists anywhere.

 Putting many twists on the weaver as it goes around the pin makes it easier to do sewings later on.

When you get to the first red dot make a turning stitch. The basic idea is that you don't go all the way across the row, but stop short. The reason is that on a tight curve there may not be enough room to work through the edge pair, set a pin, and return.

So, take the weaver through all the central passives, but don't work it with the right hand edge pair. Set a temporary pin so the old weaver and the last passive go outside the pin. That last passive will become the new weaver, and the purpose of the pin is to prevent all the passive pairs from moving to the left.

Wherever you see a red dot work a turning stitch on the right hand area of the tape.
  long sewing
When you get to the orange dot you will start a long sewing.  This occurs frequently.  There may be 2, 3, or 4 passes at the same pin. Lay the loops one on top of the other.  Don't actually do the sewing until the last pass at that pin.  Make a very long loop with the weaver, twisting it 4 or 5 times, set a pin in the middle of the open space. Twist the weaver another 4 or 5 times, then resume the tape.

Later on as you work the tape you will do this again. For the 2nd and 3rd pass at that pin, just lay the weaver loop on top of the previous loops.

But when you get to the purple dot, twist the weaver 4 or 5 times, sew the weaver through all the 3 previous loops. Then twist the weaver 4 or 5 times again, and resume the tape.

  sewing      When you get to a green dot do a simple sewing of the weaver into the loop on the earlier portion of the tape.  Using a crochet hook, pull up a loop of one of the weaver threads. Put the other weaver bobbin through the loop. Gently remove the slack and resume the tape.
   At the blue pins work a turning stitch on the left hand side of the tape.
 In this photo the yellow rings surround some of the sewings.

All the elements above are all the techniques used in this lace, just repeated on one side or the other.

When you get all the way around the pattern, the last step is called "sewing out".

Sew every passive into its beginning loop. Sew the weaver into its beginning loop, and gently tension to remove all the slack.  Don't knot anything until you have all the pairs sewn into a loop. There should not be any leftover pairs, nor any starting loops without something sewn into it..

When you are sure everything is sewn into its right place, then knot each pair twice. You should not cut the threads off close to the knot, because any strain on the lace may cause the knots to come undone if the tails are really short.
There are a number of things you can do with the tails after the knots are made. The piece at left shows the threads in a bundle, and one thread wraps around the bundle and is sewn into the weaver loops along one side of the tape. So the bundle is hidden behind the solid central portion of the tape. This makes a faily invisible ending which is secure enough for washing. It is also fairly flat and flexible.
In this piece I took each 2 pairs and made a braid by working ctctctctc until the braid was about 3/4 inch long. Then I took one thread from the bundle and sewed in into a weaver loop. This makes a flat ending, suitable for a mat which might have something put on top of it. A thick lump might make a vase unstable and wobbly.
In this version I made the bundle but took one bobbin from the bundle and did buttonhole stitches around the bundle with that one bobbin.  Then I sewed the bottonholing thread into the beginning loops.  It makes a ridge but is very secure.
On this one I made braids out of every 2 pairs, for about 3/4 inch and sewed one thread of each braid;pll into the edge loop.

    Last edited:   01/23/20