Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Online Needle Lace Book with Lots of Patterns


Amazon Books

The other day, I mentioned an interest in Italian cutwork, needle lace, and reticella, and thought that others interested in the same topic might like this book.

This particular needle lace book is hosted, in PDF format, by the Online Digital Archive of Weaving and Related Topics. The book is in Italian, but if you don’t read Italian, it doesn’t matter, because there’s only a brief introduction and the rest of the book is made up of patterns:

Italian needle lace pattern

This is the thing, though – even if you aren’t interested specifically in needle lace, the patterns are striking, and in looking at them, you might glean some inspiration for whatever type of embroidery or craft you do. I could see these patterns somehow adapted to other types of needlework: blackwork, couching designs, assisi embroidery, whitework even.

Italian needle lace pattern

When I start looking at patterns like this, I can’t help thinking of “all the ways” the same pattern could be adapted to other things!

Italian needle lace pattern

Unfortunately, I share the common woe of many stitchers: so many ideas, so little time!

Italian needle lace pattern

And I’m not sure why calligraphy and illumination come to mind when I see this one, but… they do!

Anyway, if you want to browse through a neat book, you’ll find Giardinetto novo di punti tagliati et gropposi per exercito e ornamento delle donne, by Matthio Pagano (1550) at University of Arizona’s Digital Archives.


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(3) Comments

  1. Mary, thank you so much for posting the link to that wonderful book. The delicious patterns in it have set this counted-needlework-lover’s heart a-pounding! Like you, I can see needlepoint and blackwork in those patterns.

    I have always had an interest in needlelace, reticella etc and have dabbled in them – I think I am going to have to look more seriously at them too.

    1. Hi, Isabel – I just updated the link on this to a different site that hosts the book, too. Unfortunately, it looks like the Digital Archives on Weaving and Related Topics at University of Arizona no longer exists. What a shame! It was a great resource!

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