Is there any fabric more imbued with cultural associations than lace? A piece of delicate white lace conjures up thoughts of weddings, christenings and other ceremonial occasions. Now cast your eye to the bit of black lace and thoughts turn to mortality, mourning and eroticism. Then, if you dare, consider the almost-too-provocative slip of red lace. No more needs to be said!
Lace, which rose to popularity in the 16th century, is an openwork fabric with holes made by machine or by hand. Lacemaking is a venerable craft that involves looping, twisting and braiding threads to create the openwork patterns. As a fabric, lace literally and figuratively allows us to see beneath the surface. It’s used to enhance, to emphasise and to hide. It is used to denote both innocence and seduction.
These are particularly fine examples of hand lacework and they reside firmly in the realm of the sweetly romantic.