Friday, November 30, 2012

Lace and History

Here is one more piece of lace in my new collection of old stuff.  

It appears to be finished at both ends - what would one use this for?  A collar?  To add to something else?  This looks like mostly crochet to me, but I'm not sure about the piece that the long threads come from.  Is this hairpin lace? I guess I didn't think hairpin lace twisted like that. It looks like the twisted threads that are in the pulled thread piece in my earlier post of these old items. 

I'm pretty familiar with basic crochet, but not these stitches.  And I'm too lazy at the moment to go digging for more information.  Another day :)

Here's an envelope of embroidery thread.  Much of this is silk thread, but I really love the envelope!  The Mississippi River in Minneapolis was once the home of the world's largest flour mill, and Minneapolis was known as the "Flour Milling Capital of the World" in the late 1800's/early 1900's. 

From postage history I found,
this stamp was issued in 1912.

There is an address on the front of the envelope to a Mrs. Larson.  Swedish or Norwegian perhaps?  The pencil writing on the envelope looks to be Scandinavian, and it says "dyne tra" and "silke tra" - something thread and silk thread?

So, what should I do with the lace piece?  How about the envelope?  Why do I love stuff like this so much?  It's fun to have, but there must be something I can DO with it to display it or use it so it doesn't get stored away.  Maybe I need several shadow boxes!


  1. At first I thought it was a collar, But it could be a panel for a dress, or item of clothing, it's a gorgeous piece of lace and I think it might have been crochet but I am not sure, I am not a crocheter.
    I think another shodow box coming up.

  2. The top piece of lace is a combination of crochet and likely hairpin. The center serpentines because of the way the threads are gathered.
    This was likely meant to be an insertion. Possibly a table cloth?
    I don't know what to tell you about the "old stuff" you can only save and display so much. It is difficult to throw away, but once you have checked with the local historical society, you need to decide how much room you have. Maybe taking good close up pictures, then putting them in a book might be an option.

  3. It's such an unusual piece. My first thought was macrame and crochet, but I'm just guessing. It seems very heavy for hairpin, as most hairpin I've seen uses quite delicate looking thread, but that may just have been what was available when this was created.

  4. I'm pretty sure it's hairpin lace, since hairpin lace is basically big loops of thread held together by crochet stitches, so the crochet fits in quite logically. Hairpin lace can be done with worsted weight yarn as well as thread, so the fact that it is a heavier thread should not determine whether it can be hairpin or not.


Thanks for your thoughts - I read and appreciate every one!