Archive | June 19, 2013

Bobbin Lace Making at Fort Edwards

Here is a rare opportunity to learn the almost obsolete skill of bobbin lace making!

bobbin lace

The Fort Edwards Foundation in Capon Bridge is offering a lace making workshop on September 28, 2013 with lace-making experts Judi and Clyde DeWitt.   Details about  the instructors  and photographs for the workshop can be found at the link provided.

Bobbin lace can be traced back to Elizabethan England and beyond.  The ruffs or collars of opulent lace that are synonymous with the period were all made with wooden bobbins wound with thread and crossed into stitches creating intricate patterns.  These pieces of lace are time-consuming to make and were very expensive. 


I was privileged to be able to study Torchon bobbin lace making with Judy for almost a year.  She taught me enough skills to eventually try this complicated lace pattern, which is actually a combination of simple “stitches.”

bobbinlace closeup


The bobbins come in various shapes and sizes and are usually “spangled” which means beaded.  The rings of beads keep the bobbins from rolling around and getting tangled on the lace making surface, which is usually a “pillow” a large round surface that will hold the pins in place.   Here is a close-up of spangled bobbins.

bobbins spangled

If you live locally,  please look into this  workshop and the others that will be offered by the Fort Edwards Foundation, helping to keep history and these skills alive.   I hope to have Judi DeWitt as a guest on this blog in the future for information on how to get started making bobbin lace for those who are not in the area. 

July 8, 2013 update:  Please go Emily Estrada’s podcast to see some amazing examples of bobbin lace!