Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
with needle lace, one of two main kinds of lace. Bobbin lace is made with a number of threads, each fastened to an elongated spool (bobbin). A pattern is drawn on parchment or paper, and holes are pricked to indicate where pins will be placed to keep the threads in position while the lace is being made. The parchment is placed on a pillow or cushion, and the threads, with the bobbins hanging on them, are attached. The lace is worked with each hand holding a pair of bobbins, which are moved from side to side to form a twist, a braid, or a clothlike fabric called toile. The technique arose later than that of needle lace and derived from the practice of knotting fringes of material. The first bobbin lace probably originated in the early 16th century. The question of its place of origin-Italy or Flanders-has not been resolved, but most agree that it was probably developed in Flanders. The first weights were of lead, followed by other materials such as wood and bone (hence "bone lace"). Early bobbin lace consisted of rows of deep acute-angled points worked from a narrow band, and the patterns usually were similar to those of the needle laces. It was much used for ruffs and collars in the 16th and 17th centuries.