POINT DE GAZE is the needleace that I favour most and enjoy working/designing and is probably the lace that I assumed in my ignorance all those years ago, to have been made with bobbins!
It's main feature is its delicate gauzy ground and tiny buttonholed rings, which were used for bud motifs and a variety of fillings. The designs are incredibly beautiful, usually depicting naturalistic sprays of flowers, sometimes with added layers of petals giving an extra dimension and beauty to the lace. The hand worked fine net ground is the most difficult to master and it takes many hours of practice to be able to maintain an even tension using the finest of threads and this of course is what makes a piece of work outstanding.
I have been amused to read how some workers are placing graph paper on their patterns as a guide to help with their tension whilst others are putting in little tacking stitches on which to anchor their threads, but I doubt very much if graph paper was even availavble around the middle of the 19th Century! Those lacemakers were making lace for a living and putting in all those little 'holding' stitches would surely have decreased the output of their finished laces? There is no shortcut and the only solution is to practice I'm afraid.
I designed and worked the lace for the blouse pictured above in 1983 but did not at that time know how to work the fine net ground. All of the roses, buds and leaves have been worked separately and mounted onto machine made nylon net. I have no idea how this will stand the test of time with regard to maintaining it's colour and it may well discolour with age whilst the Swiss cotton fabric that I purchased for the blouse itself, will probably remain a good shade of white. However, only time will tell!