Friday, July 10, 2020

Lace Crochet - Origin & Short History


The sole mention of lace crochet makes my heart skip a beat. As a sworn lover, I find it wondrous and beautiful to look at and wear, with intricate, versatile and fragile designs that breathe out a notion of the past.  

There are two theories about its origin:  it originated in Arabia, spread eastward to Tibet and westward to Spain, from where it followed the Arab trade routes to other Mediterranean countries, and the second is that it comes South America, where a primitive tribe was said to have used crochet adornments in rites of puberty. 

It appeared in Europe in the 1700s, in the hands of Ursuline nuns who had learned the technique in France, where it had developed as a shortcut for making Venetian point needle lace. More about the history of crochet here.

The most famous and prominent type of lace crochet is Irish crochet.  Irish Crochet Lace was traditionally made with a very fine steel crochet hook and fine crochet linen thread, though modern Irish Crochet lace is made with mercerized thread. More on Irish crochet here.

I have used lace crochet for many of my jewelries, accessories and my halter tops, and now I am on a mission to start making more elaborate garments. 

The two pictures show my use of lace crochet. The tablecloth is a dear heirloom. My grandma made it for me - she actually made two of these with different designs and this one is simpler in appearance, with a plain surface and enriched border. This type of crochet is called filet crochet - something she was immensely masterful at.  

What type of crochet are you most attracted to?


Julie's Creative Lifestyle said...

Your grandmother made such a beautiful tablecloth for you Maya!

Maya Kuzman said...

Thank you Julie! I have a sizeable collection of tablecloths, runners, doilies and other crochet treasures she made for me, and there isn't a day I think of her and hoping she is proud of me in heaven <3

Divya N said...

It is interesting how trade and trade routes influence crafts. If you follow the rabbit hole that is the silk route you will find how so many of the crafts that we know and love today both in the East and west were influenced by it or created because of it.

Maya Kuzman said...

Amazing, isn't it? I am always amazed discovering the origin of crafts and the turns/adaptations they take across the world.

Anonymous said...

Your grandmother’s tablecloth is gorgeous! And what an interesting history of the art! I’ll be interested in seeing your “more” elaborate pieces as those you make are already spectacular.

Thank you so much for sharing with Creative Compulsions!

Alhana said...

Most of my crochet pieces are filet crochet as well, I think it is the most popular style in Spain. Tablecloths, trims, courtains, bags, cushions, summer bedspreads... You name it. :-)