Historical information

At 9cm in width this delicately patterned length of light lace trim seems ideally suited to trimming a baby’s christening gown or a cradle.

This embroidered style of lace was rarely used on fashionable garments but more widely used on bed linen and undergarments and judging by the creases in the lace, it is possibly made of silk which would have made it very expensive. There were two types of embroidery machines, the earliest was the Hand Embroidery machine invented by Joshua Heilman in France in 1828. It makes a perfect copy of hand embroidery except that all of the pattern repeats are exactly the same. The second type and the most likely to have been used for this piece is the Schiffli Embroidery machine Invented by Isaac Groebli in 1865 in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The first machines were relatively small and could be operated by a couple of people, mostly women but by the beginning of the 21st century they could be up to 18 metres in length and work with over a thousand needles. Most machine embroidered laces are made using the Schiffli machine and Nottingham in England, Plauen in Germany and St. Gallen in Switzerland still produce a great deal of embroidered lace.


The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929

Physical description

Length of wide lace trim with dots on net ground and selvage edge, other edge complex scallop.
Machine made