Lace-making was one of Bedfordshire’s main industries, being mentioned as early as 1596. By 1768, 500 women and girls – about a seventh of the town’s population – were making lace in Bedford alone. By the 1830′s the industry was in decline. A leading Bedford lace dealer called Thomas (or Thomazin) Lester and his sons did much to revive it. During the 1850′s they introduced a new type of lace which became known as Bedfordshire Maltese lace.
It descends from Bucks Point and … The thread is coarser and it can be quicker to work. Lacemakers were struggling to compete with machine lace. The patterns were created to be difficult to copy by machine. Picots were made very frequently. They were called head pins and purl pins and could not be produced by machine.
Bedfordshire Lace is related to Cluny Lace, Maltese Lace, and Beds-Maltese. It was traditionally worked in linen thread but now is often worked with cotton thread.
- Floral Elements
- Flowing Curves
- Bedfordshire Motif by Christine Springett. The top motif is a piece of vintage lace. It was part of an edging. It is worked in linen thread. The bottom motif was redrafted and worked in cotton thread by Christine.
- Bedfordshire Motif in progress by Leisa ReFalo. I worked the same motif (shown above) in the Bedfordshire Workshop in Seattle Washington in August 1999.
- Lace Display # 1
- Lace Display # 2
- Lace Display #3
- Heart Coaster designed by Christine Springett worked by Leisa ReFalo
- Kirribilli Handkerchief and Kirribilli Close-up from the Bedfordshire Family of Laces. 16 pairs of 60/2 Linen. Block pillow from Van Sciver Bobbin Lace.
- Lacemaking in Bedfordshire Bedford Borough Council Â©1999
- Traditional Laces of the Bedford Area (same site as above)
- Bedfordshire Lace by Ana Rigby
- Bedfordshire Lace Jabot.by Jennifer Cooper
- Bedfordshire Handkerchief by Lisa McClure. Be sure to check out the other pieces at her site.
- Beds Medallion by Avital Pinnick.
- Beds Corner worked by Eitel Dunaway . Designed by Christine Springett
- Bedfordshire Family of Laces, The by Jennifer Fisher
- Bedfordshire Lace Collection, A by Barbara Underwood.
- Bedfordshire Lace Making by Pamela Nottingham
- Bedfordshire Lace Patterns by Margret Turner.
- Introducing Traditional Bedfordshire Lace in 20 Lessons by Barbara Underwood.
- Manual of Bedfordshire Lace, A by Pamela Robinson.
- Technique of Bobbin Lace, The by Pamela Nottingham. Has a section on Bedfordshire.
- Traditional Bedfordshire Lace by Barbara Underwood.