Lace Makers.

A piece of lace is an artistic composition expressed in

twisted thread” Miss C.C. Channer, 1900

Lace making came to Britain in the mid 1500’s from Belgium as the result of religious

persecution of Protestants by Phillip II. These good people arrived in Cranfield,

Bedfordshire in 1568 spreading quite quickly into Buckinghamshire

( Newport Pagnall, Olney & Buckingham)

There being a demand for lace, an industry formed in Northants, Bucks. & Beds.

Lace making was essentially a cottage industry with the people selling the lace to Dealers.

The industry thrived to the extent that Lace Schools were set up to teach children.

Many lacemakers became blind in old age but were still able to make the family lace patterns;

almost as if they were machines!

Machines killed the handmade lace industry when they were introduced in Nottingham

in the late 1800’s

Today lace making is a thriving hobby with many clubs around the country. It has

“gone modern” to some extent but many traditional patterns are still used.

Demonstrations and displays of lace making are a regular feature of our open days.

There is always a practice pillow so why not come and have a look and have a go.

You will find the Lace Makers hard at work in the museum shop.

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