A Cluny leaf is a leaf woven on three warp threads. They are named from their association with Cluny bobbin lace, but are also a distinguishing feature of Bedfordshire and Maltese lace.
The leaves on the left are part of a piece of Bedfordshire lace, those on the right are tatted.
There are several ways to make Cluny leaves in tatting.
Instructions for weaving on the hand are on a separate page, as they contain several diagrams (110Kb).
The same loops can be set up and pinned to a bobbin lace pillow for weaving, but I found this more tricky to shape the leaf than keeping the threads on my hand.
Another way is to make two large picots at the point a leaf is required, using a guide to ensure the picots are the same size. The two picots are then joined in to the next round. After the joining a separate thread is attached to the tatting and a needle is used to weave over the four picot threads as warp threads, treating the two centre threads as one to obtain a traditional style leaf. I haven't tried this so have no idea how difficult or easy it is.
I have designed a simple motif using Cluny leaves suitable for a beginner to try.
A larger design with leaves was made as part of a round robin I was in.
Mimi Dillman has a bibliography of books with Cluny patterns on her page and a pattern using leaves.
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