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Bobbin Lace
The interlacing of one set of elements:
the elements trend in the same direction, interlinking in a specific pattern
Edited-bobbin lace-Berk Fig 1 Plain Weav
"Not a Bow"
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Adapted from Annemarie Seiler-Baldinger, Textiles A Classification of Techniques, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994

Bobbin Lace has one set of elements that trend in the same direction. Each element is wound on a bobbin, facilitating the use of longer and finer elements. The lace is formed by following a specific pattern placed on a pillow or other surface that permits the insertion of pins where the elements interlink. The pins hold the elements in position – thereby establishing and maintaining the pattern – until the elements are secured by subsequent rows.


The schematic shows two pairs of elements and the sequence of interlinkings within and between the pairs that creates the basic stitch: (1) Right over Left within each pair (Twist); (2) Left over Right between the pairs (Cross); (3) Repetition of 1 and 2 to complete the whole stitch. (4) A series of whole stitches.


I make my patterns on graph paper and pin them to a corkboard which rests on an easel. My elements are multiple strands of round wire twisted together.

Watch Barbara making Bobbin Lace
The interlacing of two sets of elements:
one vertical and one horizontal; a continuous wire weft wraps around each warp
Edited-Berk Fig 1 Plain Weave-edit4.jpg
A schematic of the Soumak weave. The warp is the vertical
wire and the weft is the horizontal wire.
Michael's Waves
Click the image to view Michael's Waves

Soumak is an ancient rug weaving technique named for the city (Shemakha) in Azerbaijan in which it originated. It has two sets of elements, one vertical (the warp), one horizontal (the weft). Both of my elements are single strands of round wire: a thin wire weft and a thicker wire for the warp.  The weft wraps around each of the warps in turn. The thicker warp wire provides strength, the thinner weft wire provides the malleability needed to do the tight wrapping that creates a dense weave. The warp is the “skeleton”; the weft is the “skin”. The combination creates a structurally sound form. My warp wires are taped together and held in a vise, creating an open system and leaving my hands free to properly work the weft wire.

I weave each piece, and make each ribbon of lace, individually by hand, working flat
and straight. I then curve, loop, twist, interweave and sew my flat “fabric” into a

3-dimensional form. Both the round wire and the metal sheet work harden during the
lace making and weaving processes. They continue to stiffen during the shaping
process, adding to the structural integrity of the finished piece.

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