Historical information

This unusual lace is a chemical lace most likely produced on a Schiffli machine. Chemical lace which is sometimes referred to as Schiffli lace is a form of machine made lace. The design is embroidered on to a sacrificial fabric which has been treated to disintegrate or dissolve away leaving the delicate pattern seen here. This design is somewhat like a miniature Tudor design and is quite delicate and decorative. Schiffli machines came into use in the late 19th century and nowadays the lace is made on a multi head or multi needle Schiffli machine. The pattern is designed to form a series of interlocking threads that can stand alone when the sacrificial fabric has been removed. This lace would make an elegant edging to a collar or cuffs among many other uses.


The Amess family owned Churchill Island from 1872 to 1929. This lace collection was owned and contributed to by four generations of Amess women.

Physical description

Chemical lace in a miniature Tudor style