Hand-made lace is either needlepoint or bobbin-point. The first has three divisions: lacis, made on netting; drawn-work, made on a foundation of linen; punto di aria, made without foundation. The second, made by bobbins on a pillow, or by crochet, netting, or knotting threads by hand, includes peasant lace where the bobbin is not cut off from the pillow, laces such as Milanese where the patterns are made on the pillow and afterwards joined, laces such as Valenciennes where the same bobbins are used for both pattern and ground. Specimens of lace are found among Egyptian antiquities. In Christian times the finest laces were made for ecclesiastical use. In the 8th century the geometric patterns were modified probably through the influence of realistic ornamentation that had been introduced in illuminating manuscripts. The earliest pattern books, dated 1527, prove that the art was then at an advanced stage. In the 16th century Venetian lace-makers introduced needlepoint into France. Pillow lace flourished in the Netherlands from the 15th to the 18th century. Bobbin lace has been made in England since the 16th century. Ireland is noted for both needlepoint and crochet. Lace machines originated in England and were perfected in France. All kinds of modern laces are made by machinery.

New Catholic Dictionary

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