Historical information

This is a machine made copy of a Brussels lace applique or Brussels Point border which has most likely been cut from a larger piece, perhaps a wedding veil or a net for a baby’s cradle. There are two main types under the Brussels lace heading, one is Brussels Pillow lace which is a bobbin lace and the other is Brussels Point lace which is needle run.

Belgium or Flanders was one of the premium lace making centres in Europe for two reasons, one that the flax grown in the region was of a very high quality and secondly the highly skilled lace workers living in the area. The flax harvest and linen production was jealously guarded and along with neighbouring Holland which in the 16th century was joined to Belgium as Spanish Netherlands, there were many flat areas to lay out the linen for bleaching in the sun. The flax was spun into the finest linen thread in rooms kept damp to prevent the thread from becoming too brittle and the one ray of sunlight allowed was directed onto the thread. The quality of the linen made Brussels lace extremely popular for centuries and it kept pace with the changing fashions of Europe. Not all of the lace labelled as ‘Brussels’ comes from that area, the name has been given as a type rather than a source and there are many types of lace under that name. Because of the quality and the standard of the linen used, Belgian lace was one of the last types of lace to be imitated in the 19th century by mass production machinery. Because of the close chain stitch evident in this piece, a Cornelly machine may have been used to embroider this design onto machine made net.


Churchill Island has a large lace collection, which was added to by three successive generations of the Amess family - Jane, Janet, and Unity. The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. Jane was wife of Samuel Amess, who was the first Samuel Amess to own Churchill Island. The examples of lace are notable for their variety, and provide respresentative examples of techniques from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries.

Physical description

Length of lace trim, with finely worked sprays of flowers intertwined with foliage and abstracted branches.

Inscriptions & markings