The true origin of lace is hard to determine; both Italy and Belgium lay claim to being the countries where lacemaking originated. At least the time frame of lacemaking can be determined; documentation exists for lacemaking going back to the 15th century.
Originally, lace was hand-made and was very expensive and was considered a luxury fabric. In the 17th and 18th century, lace was a sign of prestige and wealth; only the finest ladies and gentlemen wore it, for they were the only ones who could afford it.
Lacemaking was often the only means of support for working women in Europe in the early centuries. Girls as young as five went to lace school to begin preparing them for a life of making lace.
The advent of machine-made lace in the 19th century made lace much more affordable, and therefore, lace lost some of it's prestige and status. The skills for making hand-made lace were almost lost after the invention of the lace machine, but luckily, a few lace schools in Italy and Belgium were revived before all the knowledge could be lost, and due to records of their work, we still can make "real lace" in the modern world. Each country has their own "special" kind of lace and lace patterns are most often named for the region from which they originated. "Beds" lace is from Bedfordshire, England, "Venetian Lace" is from Venice, Italy, "Maltese Lace" for the island of Malta, "Chantilly Lace" after Chantilly, France and so forth.
A lace runner on top of the spinet piano in the front hall adds a touch of elegance, and a nice backdrop for whatever decor I have on top of the piano (in this case, a bucket of flowers and a dove figurine).
Lace panels at the parlour windows filter through the light of day, yet offer some privacy.
This lace pattern is called 'Windsor' or sometimes 'Windsor Rose'. It's pretty obvious why. Eventually I will have other drapes on these windows; they will probably be custom made.
Olive loves lace curtains too.
Lace looks lovely with flowers!
Lace even looks good as a 'collar' on a satin kitty pillow.....
And blowing softly from a breeze through a window.
Thanks for stopping by! I'll be linking up to these parties:
Show & Tell Friday with Cindy at My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday with Courtney at French Country Cottage
Home Sweet Home with Sherry at The Charm of Home