There is currently a resurgence of lace in our style trends for 2013 and 2014.  Check out the lace in the 2013 re-make of  “The Great Gatsby” movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Lace plays an important part of so many heirloom projects. It is important to use the correct type of lace for each technique you want to use in your creation.  It is important to use French laces because of their quality and also their headers.  These headers have a pull thread that you can use to shape or ease the lace around curves or in shaped designs.  The type of laces you purchase in your local fabric shop such as Joanne’s or Hancocks, are not French lace; they are normally polyester and are manufactured differently.  They might have a header on the lace, but that header does not contain a pull thread.  If you attempt to pull a thread in the header on these non-French laces, the lace will begin to distort and rip apart.

Laces vary in width from as narrow as 3/8” to over 10” wide.  You can normally purchase French laces in white, ivory, and black.

There are really four main types of lace:  1) Insertion Lace;  2) Edging Lace;  3) Beading Lace; and,  4) Applied Lace.


1) Insertion Lace: 

Insertion Lace

The Insertion Lace has a straight edge on both the top and bottom of the lace.  The Insertion Lace is inserted between two other elements of construction.  It could be between two pieces of fabric, between two pieces of entredeux, fabric and entredeux, or fabric and edging lace.  That straight edge is called a header and it is made up of a number of very thin threads that run along the edges of the lace.  You can pull one or more of the thin threads in that header to gather the lace, or ease the lace around curves or more complicated shapes.


2) Edging Lace

Edging Lace

Edging Lace has one straight edge at the top (with a header) and the bottom is a more uneven and elaborate design.  This bottom edge does not have a header, as does the insertion lace.  Many times this bottom edge is scalloped or uneven to give more interest to the edge of the location where it will be sewed.  As the name implies, the uneven side of Edging Lace is the side that makes up the edge of the item being sewed.  Many times you will see edging lace used at a dress hemline or a sleeve hem.  The lace may be applied flat or gathered to create fullness of lace.  The width of the edging lace can be subtle and barely there or it can be 8” wide and making a deliberate statement.


3) Beading Lace

Beading Lace

Beading Lace is similar to insertion lace, in that it has a header on the top and on the bottom.  The main difference is what the lace looks like between those two headers.  There are specially designed holes or openings that allow you to thread a ribbon along the length of the lace.  Normally that ribbon is inserted in the beading lace after both sides of the lace have been attached to their other components.


4) Applied Lace

Applied Lace

Applied lace is a type of lace that you can purchase pre-made in special design or you can create on your embroidery machine.  It does not come attached to fabric.  Rather you take the free-standing lace and apply it to the item or garment you are creating.

The following website provide information on the variety of countries that produce lace and their unique properties and designs.

Lace is a beautiful thing to use in your creations; do not be afraid to discover the variety of options and techniques that employ lace.

There is currently a resurgence of lace in our style trends for 2013 and 2014.  Check out the lace in the 2013 re-make of  “The Great Gatsby” movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.


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