Brussels lace


Brussels lace
1. a fine handmade lace in a floral pattern outlined with raised cordonnet, originally made in the area of Brussels.
2. a modern machine-made net lace on which floral designs are appliquéd.
[1740-50]

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 lace made in Brussels from the second half of the 17th century, when much of it was imported clandestinely to England and sold there under the name of point d'Angleterre (see Angleterre). This bobbin lace had a characteristic mesh, a hexagon with four twisted sides and two sides plaited four times, though the design was sometimes joined by a background of bars, or brides, or a background of both bars and mesh. The thread, from local Brabant flax, was of high quality. An expensive lace, it was much used at court. Brussels lace was famous for its bold and sweeping floral and plant designs, which formed large serpentine curves on pieces used to adorn clothing. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, figures in narrative scenes were set in a naturalistic surrounding, giving the whole a closely wrought allover effect.

      By the mid-18th century the lace's production was divided among specialists, each charged with one stage of the work. Toward 1800 the motifs of the design (sometimes bobbin-made, sometimes needle-made) were being worked separately and applied to bobbin net and, after 1820, to machine net. Needle lace was made from 1720 in imitation of Alençon; needle lace had another revival after 1851 in “gauze lace.” From 1840 a rather crude, mostly bobbin-made lace called duchesse lace was made.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Brussels lace — noun Date: 1732 1. any of various fine needlepoint or bobbin laces with floral designs made originally in or near Brussels 2. a machine made net of hexagonal mesh …   New Collegiate Dictionary