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I wasn’t sure I would like this book because I’m always a little apprehensive about price guides; especially one  published in 1999. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Elizabeth Kurella writes about a variety of textiles organized into three groups: vintage fashion, home furnishings and “fabrics of society” (e.g. flages, feed sacks and samplers). She even includes information on those unfinished items we’ve all found at flea markets and antique malls. This book is dedicated to the appreciation of vintage textiles and Kurella teaches the reader how to look at a textile, what to concentrate on and what each feature means. If you want to learn to “read” your vintage pieces this book is a good place to start. It is available from the usual on-line retailers.

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Guide to Lace and Linens

December 17, 2009

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As someone who is still learning about lace I found Guide to Lace and Linens to be outstanding! In this book Elizabeth Kurella does a fabulous job with her explanation of how lace is constructed. She identifies the various components of lace-clothwork, outline, mesh, bridges and ornament-and how each relates to the piece as a whole. The information she provides wll turn anyone into a first rate lace detective.

In addition she includes comprehensive descriptions of the named laces (e.g. Appenzal, Chantilly, etc.). One of the best features of this book is Kurella’s almost scientific approach  in dissecting the lace with up-close magnified photographs. This makes lace identification very easy. As Kurella points out, it’s all about reading the lace. and that’s what this book teaches us to do. This book, in its second edition, is available from on-line stores and speciality shops. I highly recommend it for any lace enthusiast’s library.

Genoese Lace

October 11, 2009

Columbus Day, the second Monday of October, celebrates Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World. Columbus, the son ofgenoese lace2 a weaver, was a native of Genoa, a city in northern Italy. Genoa is also famous for it’s lace. According to Elizabeth Kurella’s Guide to Lace and Linens in the 16th and 17th centuries a variety of laces were made in Genoa. She notes that “one style of braided bobbin lace made with deep scalloped points to accent the fashionable collars of the times has traditionally carried the name Genoese Lace. When collars were no longer popular neither was this type of lace. The technique did become the inspiration for other laces in the 19th century; specifically Cluny and Bedforshire. The EoVN also notes that the manufacture of lace in Genoa flourished in the 17th century stating that “both the pillow and needle laces produced there were then held in high estimation.”

Just as Christopher Columbus’ achievements are held in high regard, Genoese Lace is considered to be highly collectible.

Quote Collection

October 8, 2009

“Stitch by stitch, thread by thread, like the letters of the alphabet, the stitches spell out the stories lace has to tell”atc.e

“Learning to read lace is no more difficult than learning to read a book, and that’s something that even children under age four have learned to do. There are fewer ways to manipulate threads than there are letters of the alphabet, fewer rules of grammar.”

From the introduction of Guide to Lace and Linens by Elizabeth M. Kurella