Updates for my paper on Mechlin lace Paper updates

The following article was written to explain the use of plastic over prickings.

Article, prickings

This piece of English Mechlin consists of a narrow hand-made flower edging attached to machine-made ground the two stitched together. The buttonhole stitches connecting them can be seen in the detail down the centre between the two gimps. The gimp of the hand made section is thicker than that of the machine made section. The thread used for both looks as though it may be the same, in which case hand and machine workers knew what the other was doing. I have seen other examples of this and many have this straight line along the boundary of the hand-made section. 

The following article is a summary of research into Mechlin lace, with reference to Mechlin made in England

My article for L Soc

The latest in lace underwear

I am continuing to work on Mechlin, concentrating on understanding the techniques and am now at the stage whe I can work from a pricking, without a route map. Once I understood the techniques and when and where to use them my Floral Bucks skills kicked in enabling me to know when to bring pairs into clothwork and when to leave them out and the new techniques I have learned enable me to deal with the ground/clothwork boundary. It took time to come to grips with the unpinned ground. I tried many different types and weights of bobbins and different pillows and now work with small (8.5-9cm), East Midlands bobbins with very small spangles of seed beads to stop them rolling. These bobbins plus spangle weigh about 2.5gm. For me, unlike Bucks, I find this ground is pulled out of shape if the bobbin weight continues to work on the thread. For me, ice ground needs the bobbins to remain in position with the threads slack.

narrow edge 01

This piece is made using Egyptian cotton no 120/2. At first I used a route map but I got too frustrated with it and after a couple of repeats abandoned it and worked to the pricking. I am looking forward to having another go and ironing out the glitches.rose 01This one is is my copy of an antique piece.  Again, there are parts I need to work on. Unfortunately back problems are severely limiting my time at the pillow – very frustrating.

Among Vi Bullards prickings was one that Denise Vickery and I both loved, and I could not resist making it.


One of the lacemakers coming to my Bucks Point course at the Nottingham Summer School this year asked if I could teach Polychrome Bucks.  I have been thinking of trying it for some time and this gave me the nudge I needed. The results are stunning. I will be teaching it again at Knuston Hall November 2016

Image2c Image2b

I bought the Mechlin Syllabus I when it came out in 1992 but two books got in the way and I did not get the chance to try it. Now they are all finished I am having a go. Here are my first two attempts. It is not easy to keep the ground even when there are no pins  in it.

Mechlin 01

These were both made using Egyptian cotton no. 185/2, gimp single strand Anchor stranded embroidery thread. The first is very fine Bucks, the second Regency Bucks.


3 thoughts on “Blog

  1. This is a type of lace I’d love to learn better. I’ve never tried to work it without ground pins! Didn’t even know it should be worked this way. Challenge accepted! Thank you Alex!

  2. As usual Alex, I learn from your knowledge. Up until now, I was not aware of making Mechlin combining hand and machine lace. I am not very familiar with Mechlin. I will need to remedy that.
    I wonder if other types of Lille family laces used the same method of making lace quicker.
    Take care,

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