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punto in aria

(Italian: "lace in air"), the first true lace (i.e., lace not worked on a woven fabric). As reticella (q.v.) became more elaborate, its fabric ground was eventually replaced by a heavy thread or braid tacked onto a temporary backing (e.g., parchment); the finished lace thus provided its own structure. While the early punto in aria, first mentioned in a pattern book by Tagliente (1528), retained the geometric pattern of reticella, it soon included such motifs as animal figures, biblical scenes, and scrolls

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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