This is a machine made lace made in the fashion of Mechlin lace - one of the best known Flemish laces. Original Mechlin lace is a bobbin lace, where the ground and the pattern are made with the same threads and the outline is picked out in fine silk. Close inspection of this lace section indicates that the net ground is hexagonal with two sides plaited and the other four are twisted. The Leavers machine was capable of producing this elegant section of lace trim. From 1841, this machine was developed to make the ground, the pattern and the outline at the same time. The working thread bobbins would be wound with a fine cotton or silk and the outline bobbins would be wound with a heavier linen thread or a heavier silk.
It would be used as a delicate trim on light summer clothes, perhaps a blouse, a summery dress, to trim a parasol or perhaps to trim an elegant evening gown on which the colour of the gown would show through the fine lace.
The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was added to and refined over the course of three successive generations of women.
Michelin lace - hexagonal net ground with two sides plaited and the other four are twisted.