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Ñandutí Lace

December 5, 2013

Ñandutí Lace is a needlemade lace that is usually associated with Paraguay.  Ñandutí means Spider web.

The piece of very fine silk lace featured in my photograph is from Paraguay and is in the private collection of Jan and Marshall Bronson.   Thank you for allowing me to see it in person and to show our interested embroidery community the photographs.  

       There are a number of needlemade laces that have a common feature. The motifs are circular with threads radiating from the center outwards to the perimeter, like spokes radiating from a wheel.  In fact many of the laces are named wheel laces and are usually associated with those places such as Spain, South America, Mexico and the Canary Islands.  Each lace has slightly different characteristics and names.  Ñandutí is one of the finest. Teneriffe Lace is also a well known wheel lace.

    Pat Earnshaw, author of Needle-made Laces states that Ñandutí lace was known from the 16th C. but many more examples survive from the mid 19th C.  The style became popular with American women’s magazines by the early 20th C.  At that time, in the village of Itaugua, 1000 women  –  from 9 to 90 were making Ñandutí for pillow shams, curtains, gowns and all sorts of fashion accessories.

 It is interesting to compare historical descriptions of this lace.  Here is a link to a book titled Teneriffe Lace Work, author: Therese de Dillmont. It is from the Smithsonian Institute Libraries.   https://archive.org/details/teneriffelacewor00thde       It is even more amazing to know that two methods are used to make the lace: needleweaving and overhand knots.  

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2013 6:12 pm

    What a beautiful piece and such painstaking work. I love archive.org, always something interesting to find there.

  2. Karen permalink
    December 5, 2013 8:42 pm

    So amazing to see this lace…..A huge thank you to the Bronson’s for sharing!

  3. Liz Cooper permalink
    December 7, 2013 4:16 pm

    Very interesting. That book is now available on Gutenberg Press on line.

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