At a recent meeting of the South Gippsland Spinners & Fibre Arts Group, Marg Fenn displayed her skill of producing Romanian Point Lace. Marg has kindly offered to conduct a tutorial at a future meeting.
Romanian Point Lace, also known as "Macramé Lace" or "Romanian Lace," is a unique and intricate form of needle lace that originated in Romania. It is a traditional craft that has been passed down through generations, and it has a rich history and a fascinating making process.
History: The exact origins of Romanian Point Lace are somewhat unclear, but it is believed to have its roots in the 19th century, during the period of the Romanian Principalities (Wallachia and Moldavia), which are now part of modern-day Romania. At that time, this lace-making technique was developed and evolved into a highly specialized craft. Romanian Point Lace has strong influences from other forms of lace-making, such as Venetian, Brussels, and Chantilly lace, which were popular in Europe. However, over time, Romanian lace makers developed their unique techniques and designs, making this style of lace distinctive.
Making Romanian Point Lace: Creating Romanian Point Lace is an intricate process. It involves the use of a variety of threads and cords, including cotton, linen, or silk. Here's a simplified overview of the process:
Preparation: First, a pattern is drawn or transferred onto a piece of fabric, which will serve as the base for the lace.
Tacking: A grid of threads or cords is tacked onto the fabric, following the pattern. These tacked cords form the skeleton of the lace.
Stitching: Intricate decorative stitches and knots are used to fill in the spaces between the cords. Common stitches include buttonhole stitch, twisted bars, picots, and more. These stitches create the lace's texture and design.
Cord Work: Cord work is an essential element of Romanian Point Lace. This involves creating decorative cords, often using a process similar to macramé, and attaching them to the lace. These cords can be used for edging, creating loops, or other decorative elements.
Finishing: Once the lace is complete, it is carefully removed from the fabric base, and any excess threads are trimmed. The lace is then washed and pressed to give it its final form and appearance.
Romanian Point Lace often incorporates elements of flowers, leaves, and other natural motifs, making it visually distinctive. The lace can be used for a variety of applications, including clothing, home décor, and accessories.
Today, Romanian Point Lace is considered a valuable part of Romania's cultural heritage. It is taught in schools and passed down through generations, preserving the tradition and the intricate artistry of this lace-making technique. It's also appreciated worldwide for its beauty and craftsmanship, and many artisans and lace enthusiasts continue to create Romanian Point Lace pieces as a way to honor and promote this unique tradition.