Historical information

This beautiful little baby bonnet is made of strips of machine made lace sewn together and attached to what appears to be a muslin cap. The lace is torchon and would have been made on a Barmen machine. It was developed from a braiding machine in the 1890s in Barmen which is now part of Wuppertal in Germany. This machine makes a near perfect copy of torchon lace which it creates in cylindrical form and by strategic removal of threads is flattened into the braid strip. These machines could only make one strip at a time and were limited to 120 threads so people used creative ways to display this type of lace. There are purple and white ribbons attached and a damaged embroidery thread around the top of the lace.


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

Machine made lace bonnet, with lilac ribbon and a slightly frayed blue embroidered thread.