A Length of Point de Gaze Lace

Point de gaze, a needlelace which was made in Brussels, Belgium, in the second half of the nineteenth century, was named for its light, gauzy mesh ground (gaze is the French word for gauze). It became very popular, and was used for items of dress large and small, including flounces, fans, handkerchiefs and wedding veils. The designs for the larger items were very elaborate with a variety of decorative fillings and a profusion of naturalistic flowers, often with added petals to give a three-dimensional effect.

Although my piece is relatively modest, it illustrates all but one of the techniques I described in an article for Lace and an additional one (a ring of twisted stitches) which I didn’t mention there. I found it when rummaging in a local vintage clothing shop — there was no price attached and when I asked, the assistant took one look and said “It’s only machine lace, you can have it for £2.” I was sure it wasn’t but kept quiet, paid up and went home to examine it at leisure.

The lace above is at actual size, but if you click on the thumbnails below details at 16x magnification will appear in a separate window. Passing the mouse over a thumbnail will show you its position in the lace. (On an iPad the detail will appear in a new tab, and you will see the position when you close this.)

1. Point de gaze mesh and corded stitch separated by raised edges
2. Ardenza bars
3. Couronnes with plain and “frilly” edges
4. Woven wheels
5. Small couronne in the mesh and a ring of twisted stitches