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The Costumer's Manifesto: 18th Century Lace

18th Century Lace

Text by Tara Maginnis,with Plates From

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and other sources. Please do not copy the Broderbund Photos in this page.

Lace enjoyed a popularity in the Rococo periodunprecedented in history. Where the wearing of lace during the 17th Century was restrictedby law to the nobility, and during the 19th Century, by custom, to women, its use knew nosuch bounds during most of the 18th Century.

Anyone who could possibly afford to, wore lace as a statussymbol. The more money, the more lace.

"Alencon" lace was considered the most elegantand aristocratic, due to its rarity and high cost. Brussels, Mechlin and Binche laces werevery popular until the 1750’s when they were eclipsed by Valenciennes lace and Blondelace. Locally produced bobbin and needle laces were patronized by the middle and upperclasses for non-court wear, and so thelocality of a patron might predetermine the lace he used for informal occasions.

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(Baroque Dance)

17thcentLaceXii.jpg Valenciennes lace, c.1650-1730

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Lace patterns of the early 18th Century tend toward theheavy simple patterns of the previous century. Laces become lighter and visibly morecomplex in pattern as time wore on.

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During the 1720’s, patterns were separated by atranslucent ground of increasing size.

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In the 1730’s and 40’s, the ground was itselfpatterned with different dot patterns known as "modes."

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Laces continued to become lighter with more ground and lesspattern.

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After the mid 1760’s, lace patterns declined andquantity of simple lace became more desired than quality.

tex3.htm@160x120.jpg c. 1775 Needlepoint "point d'Alençon".

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Lace continued to get lighter, cheaper, and lessfashionable for the rest of the century, going out of style for men by the 1790’s andhigh fashion women by 1800. Late 18th Century lace was regaled to the underground ofwomen’s lingerie where it stayed, and transformed from a status symbol into an eroticaccessory for women

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How do you make those fluffy elbow ruffles you see on 18th Century Saque gowns?

lace.html@160x120.jpg Lace In American Revolutionary War Reenacting

Product Links

Madame De Pompadour : Sex, Culture and Power Madame De Pompadour : Sex, Culture and Power

Lace A History Books Santina Levey

The History of Underclothes The History of Underclothes

Guide to Lace and Linens Guide to Lace and Linens

Corsets and Crinolines Corsets and Crinolines

Italian Lace Designs : 243 Classic Examples Italian Lace Designs : 243 Classic Examples

Living With Lace Living With Lace

Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century : From the Victoria and Albert Museum, London Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century : From the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Woven Textile Design in Britain from 1750 to 1850 (The Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile Collection) Woven Textile Design in Britain from 1750 to 1850 (The Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile Collection)

Fabrics : The Decorative Art of Textiles Fabrics : The Decorative Art of Textiles

Textiles 5,000 Years : An International History and Illustrated Survey Textiles 5,000 Years : An International History and Illustrated Survey

The Complete Guide to Vintage Textiles The Complete Guide to Vintage Textiles

Textiles for Colonial Clothing Textiles for Colonial Clothing

Embroidery in Britain From 1200 to 1750: The Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile Collection Embroidery in Britain From 1200 to 1750: The Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile Collection

Eighteenth Century French Fashion Plates in Full Color Eighteenth Century French Fashion Plates in Full Color

Early Dance Part 2 Early Dance Part 2

"The Costumer's Manifesto"
by Tara Maginnis