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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bucks Point lace

 is a bobbin lace from the East Midlands in England. "Bucks" is short for Buckinghamshire, which was the main center of production. The lace was also made in the nearby counties of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. Bucks point is very similar to the French Lille lace, and thus is often called English Lille. It is also similar to Mechlin lace and Chantilly lace.( we will be learning about this two lace's soon)

Bucks lace has a gimp thread outlining the pattern. It is made in one piece on the lace pillow, at full width and not in strips like Honiton lace. Common designs are floral and geometric. The floral designs are like those in Mechlin and Lille laces, but Bucks lace is generally simpler than the Belgian laces, and is made of linen or silk. It can have picots along the edge.

Bucks lace was in evidence as early as the 16th century, though it didn't become fully developed until the 19th century. Production has continued up until the present, though recently mostly by hobbyists.
 Bucks lace most likely originated in the latter half of the 16th century, when Huguenot refugees from Mechlin near Brussels and Lille, then in the Spanish Netherlands, arrived in the East Midlands. It was recorded in Flanders in the 1690s. By 1698 a full fourth of the population of Buckinghamshire, or about 30,000 people, were employed making lace. Children were taught how to make the lace beginning at age 5, and by age 12 could support themselves off the lace they made. It was believed that teaching the children when they were that young was the only way to gain the speed and skill needed to make lacemaking profitable after machine made lace became common.

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