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  • Place of origin:

    Venice (made)

  • Date:

    1630-1640 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Needle lace worked in linen thread

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This length of needle lace would probably have been used as a border on a fine linen furnishing, such as a table cover.
Needle lace was being made in England from the later 16th century. It was taught and practised as a domestic embroidery skill, as well as being made in professional workshops. However, needle lace of this high quality and fluid, balanced design would have been imported from Italy. The use of such lace was extensive, and increased with the changes in fashion in clothing and furnishings in the early 17th century.

Physical description

Furnishing border of needle lace (punto-in-aria). Wide border with a vertical pattern of twining flower stems, including columbines and cornflowers, and a variety of others. Repeat of 15.24 inches. The border has been joined in one place across its width, and is unfinished at either end. It has a later bobbin lace footing along one edge, needle lace picots along the other.

Place of Origin

Venice (made)


1630-1640 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Needle lace worked in linen thread


Length: 2280 mm maximum length, Width: 280 mm maximum width, Length: 38.5 cm pattern repeat

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1993/1991.

Historical context note

Punto in aria ('stitches in the air') was the name given to the type of needle lace that developed away from the grid structure of cutwork (dependent on the warp and weft of a woven ground). It was worked without the support of a woven ground. This moved it on from being essentially a trimming or means of surface decoration into a fabric in its own right.

Descriptive line

Border, needle lace worked in linen thread, Venice, 1630-1640

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Patricia Wardle, 75 X Lace, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2000


Linen thread


Needle lace making

Subjects depicted

Floral patterns


Lace; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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