Flanders Lace

Hearts

(Traditional design)

Flanders lace is often regarded as the best starting point for learning to make Belgian and French laces. The lace is worked on a grid at an angle of 45 degrees. The commonest variation of Flanders ground is called five hole ground, since it produces the effect of a central pinhole surrounded by four holes at the points of a square. Flanders grounds use 4 pairs, that is 8 bobbins, to work each pin. The variation pictured here is worked as follows:

2 middle pairs cross, twist, cross, twist
2 right pair cross, twist
2 left pairs cross, twist
     Pin between the middle 2 pairs
2 middle pairs cross, twist, cross, twist
2 right pair cross, twist
2 left pairs cross, twist

This produces a ground which has an orientation - there are threads that lie in straight lines along the direction of work on the pillow, but not at right angles to the direction of work. In the circular edging shown the lines go around the circle. As an experiment I made a piece of ground with each thread in a different colour to see where each thread travels to. The picture is enlarged to show the detail (82Kb).

Anyone familiar with Torchon lace may recognise Flanders ground as roseground, but with a pin in the central hole rather than in each corner. There are as many potential variations on Flanders ground as types of Roseground, but only the one above and one where every set of 2 pairs is worked cross, twist, cross, twist are in common use.

Flanders curves

(Traditional design)

Motifs

The small cloth stitch motifs are known as peas. The cloth stitch area is surrounded by a thicker thread, known as a gimp. Outside the gimp is a line encircling the motif, known as the ring. All pairs which enter or leave a feature in Flanders work cross, twist, cross, twist with the ring pair. For the simple pea shown here the motif takes in all its pairs and then immediately starts reducing in size. When throwing out threads take the two pairs before and after a pin through the ring pair and plait the exiting threads tightly together. This plait provides stability for tensioning while working the rest of the motif, thereby helping to avoid holes in the cloth areas. When the motif is complete and the two ring pairs have been worked together then remove the temporary plaits.

Other traditional motifs are hearts, bridges, and the pastor's hat.

Old Flanders Lace

There is some historical information and a lovely piece of old Flanders lace at Legacy of Lace, as well as other lace styles.


All designs, text and photographs on this site are copyright Stephanie Peters, except where stated. The designs by Stephanie Peters may be reproduced for personal use but not sold, nor used in any publication without permission. Permission to publish in newsletters etc. will be willingly given to any not for profit organisation that cares to ask.