Softly feminine. Subtly sexy. Lace is a fabric that is timeless in its dainty appeal, the material of choice for delicate glamour and romanticism. Through turning seasons and changing fashions, this decorative openwork fabric has endured as a bastion of feminine style, regularly seen on designer runways, in bridal wear and within elements of home décor.
Lace was developed in Europe during the 16th century when two forms of the hand-crafted fabric were introduced simultaneously. Needle lace, made with a single needle and thread, and bobbin lace, made with multiple threads plaited together, initially used linen, before silk and metallic gold thread gained popularity, followed by cotton in the 1800s.
Portrait of Queen Victoria on her wedding day in 1840, in her lace embroidered silk satin dress
Lace styles evolved over time as fashions shifted. For many years, lace was a luxury item, expensive to procure due to the skilled, time-consuming nature of its production. However, industrial advances allowed new laces to be developed in the 19th century and by the mid-1800s, with machines now weaving laces, the fabric became more accessible. Still, handmade lace remained a desirable commodity and this demand led to new forms of the fabric being invented, such as the ever-favoured Chantilly lace.
Today, lace remains as popular as ever. Cast an eye over the most recent international fashion weeks and you will note its appearance on catwalks from New York to London. Carolina Herrera’s structured tailoring was softened with the sultry elegance of white lace shirting, whilst Victoria Beckham’s lacy trims gave outfits with simple, and at times slightly masculine, lines, a graceful twist.
A flowing blouse of Chantilly lace is understatedly alluring. A flash of guipure lace on the lapels of a suit jacket, ala Zuhair Murad, adds beautiful detail and life to a plainer garment. Try creating a gently draped evening gown with a gorgeous beaded lace, or a striking dress in heavy corded emerald green. A chic pencil skirt, a simply cut, lacy t-shirt. The options with this wonderful fabric are endless.
Feeling inspired? Our extensive collection of quality lace fabrics is filled with a wide range of styles, textures, patterns and colours of lace, for varied uses. From corded, to Chantilly, to guipure, beaded and embroidered laces, have a look through our full selection online now.
Brand new in! Pink & Green Floral Guipure Lace