Sunday, January 2, 2011

Crafty Bucket List: Bobbin Lace

The first week of every month I will bring you some info, videos, and perhaps demonstrations of various fiber crafts.  Hopefully by the end of 2011, you'll have learned about 12 crafts!

First up: Bobbin Lace
You can buy a Bobbin Lace Beginner's Kit (From Amazon) and learn with me! (I don't endorse any specific brands.  This is just the one I purchased. I couldn't tell you which products are superior or inferior to others as I am just learning myself!)

Last year, I was performing a Book Review for Harper Collins Books, The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri, (fiction) when I first became aware of Bobbin Lace.  I was immediately intrigued by the concept of Bobbin Lace.  As soon as I finished the book review, I was researching.  Bobbin Lace, like a lot of traditional fiber arts, has long been replaced by machines.  But there are crafters who still honor the tradition and art of bobbin lace with gorgeous hand made pieces.  When I went to one of my knitting groups, I was thrilled to discover that even in a small town in Pennsylvania, artisans still gather to create and share Bobbin Lace.

So what IS Bobbin Lace?  Bobbin Lace is a traditional thread lace created by moving bobbins in a pattern over a pillow to create a lace strip, suitable for or often used as trim work.  It is also known as pillow lace or bone lace because bobbins were often made of bone or ivory in earlier days.

Bobbin lace (16th - 18th centuries) was an inexpensive way to create beautiful lace trim or edgings and earn women a nice income, well above that of sewing or other handmade textile arts.  By the 19th century, some laces fell out of fashion and Bobbin Lace became more of a craft for hobbyists as machine lace became faster and cheaper for mass production.

Bobbin Lace typically uses natural fiber thread, though synthetic fibers are used as well.  It requires bobbins, thread, pins, a bobbin lace pillow, and a pattern, which is typically a cardstock or paper that has been perforated.

All week I will post links, videos, and information about Bobbin Lace.  I, myself, have never attempted Bobbin Lace, so I am thrilled to highlight this craft and I hope to give it a whirl this year!  If you or someone you know creates Bobbin Lace, please contact me via the Contact Tab in the upper right corner of my blog to share your love of Bobbin Lace with my readers!  To whet your appetite I'm including a little video demonstration of Bobbin Lace in this first post.  This video was shared by Itlmiss on YouTube.  Please leave her some comment love!!



  1. Karrie,

    I tried bobbin lace at an SCA event. It was a lot of fun but it was one of those things you don't want to put down for fear of the bobbins going haywire. Tons of T pins and thread were not conducive when I had two little ones.

    Thanks for this post and the previous one. You have inspired me to get out and find some crafty time.

  2. I wish you the best of luck with bobbin lace! I purchased the beginners kit from and really made an effort to 'get it'...I ended up selling the whole kit except for the pricking mat on ebay! Since then, however, I have found that mat handy for so many things! So something good came from it!

    I'll be watching with great interest as you highlight bobbin lace here on your site!


  3. a - I know what you mean!

    MGM - I just ordered the Lacis Bobbin Lace Beginner's Kit from Amazon. I hope I'm not in over my head!! ;)

  4. I bet the Knitting Fairy here locally could give you some great information on Bobbin Lace - she has a lace page located at

  5. Sharon - THANKS! I'll definitely check it out!

  6. KnitPurlGurl, what a great idea to highlight all these different crafts over the coming months! I love bobbin lace but have never tried making it. Go, you!

  7. I've never heard of bobbin lace before. It's intriguing and I can't wait to see how it turns out for you! I agree that your posts on different crafts are a great idea. Thanks!


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