Crochet was originally practiced by the Scottish peasants who used a small hooked needle called a shepherd’s hook. This art came to England, France, USA and finally spreaded across the world.
Thin fabric lace was very expensive then and crocheters could compete with their cheaper work. The small hook and thin thread were their instruments to produce such a delicate dainty lace that we still admire as work of art. Schools teaching this techniques were started in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The learning process has changed over time – our ancestors started with elaborate doilies and intricate combination of the stitches. Their dresses looked sophisticated and elegant because nobody would use thick yarn for crocheting. Now internet advises to begin with thick yarn, big hook and simple double crochet stitches to produce first crochet garments. As though our contemporary newbies lack patience in achieving serious goals and should aim for quantity of coarse projects : )).
Today I want to share some photos of antique fabric lace (from the 18th century) that my my friend took in Rundale Palace Museum (Rundales Pils). All photos are clickable.
I wish you lots of inspiration!
Above: Lace collar. Italy, Venice, approx. 1600
Below: Lace collar. Italy, Venice, approx. end of the 17th century