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INSTRUCTIONS AND PATTERNS IN GUIPURE D'ART
Ancient Guipure was a lace made of thin vellum, covered with
gold, silver, or silk thread, and the word Guipure derives its name
from the silk when thus twisted round vellum being called by that
name. In process of time the use of vellum was discontinued, and a
cotton material replaced it. Guipure lace was called intelle
à cartisane in England in the sixteenth century.
Various modern laces are called Guipure, but the word is
misapplied, since Guipure lace is that kind only where one thread
is twisted round another thread or another substance, as in the
ancient Guipure d'Art.
In every design where lace can be introduced, Guipure d'Art will
be found useful. It looks particularly well when mounted upon
quilted silk or satin. The squares, when worked finely, look well
as toilet-cushions, or, if worked in coarser thread, make admirable
couvrettes, and as covers for eider-down silk quilts are very
elegant. Guipure squares should be connected by guipure lace,
crochet, or tatting, or they may be [p 504] edged with narrow guipure
lace and joined at the corners only when placed over coloured silk
or satin; thus arranged, a sofa-cushion appears in alternate
squares of plain and lace-covered silk; a ruche of ribbon and fall
of lace to correspond completes this pretty mounting.
Not one of the least important attractions of Guipure d'Art is
the speed with which it is worked, and the ease with which fresh
patterns are designed by skilful workers.
GUIPURE D'ART is an imitation of the celebrated ancient Guipure
Lace, and is worked in raised and intersected patterns upon a
square network of linen thread, Mecklenburg thread of various sizes
being used for this purpose. The needles employed are blunt, and
have large eyes, to admit the linen thread.
Materials required: One frame of wire covered with silk ribbon;
one square of Mecklenburg thread net (fillet), either
coarse or fine; Mecklenburg thread; netting-needles and meshes of
The netted foundation, or "fillet," upon which this
elegant work is embroidered, can be made by ladies very easily, and
at much less cost than when bought ready made.
The square is worked by netting with coarse No. 2 or fine No.10
thread over a mesh measuring three-quarters of an inch or more, in
rows backwards and forwards. Begin with 2 stitches, and increase 1
at the end of every row till you have one more stitch than is
required for the number of holes. Thus, if a square of 26 holes is
required, continue to increase up to 27 stitches, then decrease 1
at the end of every row till 2 stitches only remain. The last 2
stitches are knotted together without forming a fresh stitch.
The completed foundation is laced upon the frame, taking the
lacing cotton through the double edge formed by the increased and
decreased [p 505] stitches. If the four corners of the
netting are tied at each corner of the frame before beginning the
lacing, that operation is greatly facilitated. The netting should
be laced as tightly as possible, it being far easier to darn on
than when loose.
Ladies who wish to excel in working guipure d'art should
practise each of the stitches until they attain perfect regularity
and quickness in their execution. Two or three hours devoted to
this in the first instance will not be time wasted, as the most
elaborate pattern will be worked with ease as soon as the stitches
The Mecklenburg thread of Messrs. Walter Evans and Co., of
Derby, will be found a better colour than any other, as it closely
resembles the shade of the ancient guipure lace.
It is sold only in spools of 200 yards each, and the numbers run
as follow; No. 2, 4, 6, 8, lo, 12, 16, 20; No. 2 being the
coarsest, and No. 20 the finest.
The principal stitches used in guipure d'art are POINT D'ESPRIT,
POINT DE TOILE, POINT DE FESTON, POINT DE REPRISE, POINT DE
BRUXELLES, and WHEELS and STARS. POINT D'ESPRIT is worked with
finer cotton than the foundation, say No. 10 on a foundation of No.
6. It consists of a succession of small loops, as will be seen
clearly in the illustration. The learner should begin from the mark
* No. 503, and working a row of loops the length required, turn the
frame and work loops on the opposite half of each square
intersecting the first worked loops in the centre of each
intervening bar of netting. A careful examination of Nos. 503 and
506 will explain this more clearly than is possible in words.
POINT DE TOILE, or LINEN STITCH, is plain darning under and over
each thread; this forms a fine close groundwork, and is much used
in guipure [p 507] d'art. Care should be taken to keep the
same number of stitches in each square, both along and across; the
number of threads shown in illustration No. 504 is 4 only, but 6
and even 8 are used in many netted foundations in fine
POINT DE FESTON is worked by a series of overcast stitches, as
seen by illustration 506, which clearly shows the manner of
working. The frame is turned at each stitch, the stitches are taken
across the squares, and increase in length at the top of the
POINT DE REPRISE, or DARNING, is worked by stretching 2 or 3
threads over 1, or 2, or more squares. The thread is darned over
and under, and the needle used to arrange the last stitch while
passing through to form the next. This stitch is very easily
acquired. It is always worked with coarser thread than the
foundation; No. 2 thread should be employed for a coarse
groundwork. No. 510 shows this stitch used to form stars, figures,
POINT DE BRUXELLES, as shown on pages 506 and 507, is a kind of
loose button-hole stitch, and is used for forming various patterns
and for filling up squares. It also forms "leaves," when the number
of stitches is decreased each row until the leaf finishes off in a
point. Nos. 509 and 510 clearly show this stitch.
WHEELS are easy to work, and are begun in the centre. Four
threads are taken across, as shown in design No. 511; the thread is
twisted in bringing it back to the centre, and the wheel formed by
passing the thread under and over the netting and the crossing
threads. It is fastened off on the back of the several wheels.
Wheel No. 513 is a square wheel, and is worked in the same
manner, with the addition of point d'esprit loops, through which,
and under and over the cross-twisted threads, 4 or 5 rows of thread
STARS are of various form, as shown in Nos. 516, 517, 518, 519,
No. 516 is worked in point de feston (see page 507) round a
single square hole, which is filled in by a small wheel or
No. 517 is worked in point de feston and point de Bruxelles,
 alternately round a centre simply
crossed by point d'esprit threads.
No. 518 is more elaborate, and is worked thus:--Begin at the
place marked a; twist the linen thread 3 times round the
nearest thread, draw it on to the knot b; repeat this 3
times, following the order of the letters; twist the linen thread
also between the threads, as can be
[p 513] seen from the
illustration, and fasten it underneath the knot a; for the
wheel fasten on the cotton afresh and work the remaining pattern in
darning stitch (point de reprise).
No. 520 consists of a double cross formed by twisted loops of
linen thread. Copy these loops exactly from illustration 520.
One part of the straight cross lies underneath, then comes the
slanting cross, and lastly, the other part of the straight
In the centre the loops of linen thread are fastened with two
rounds of stitches. (See illustration 520).
OVERCAST STITCH is worked like embroidery overcast, and forms
the stems of the flowers and leaves of guipure d'art; it is worked
over one or two coarse threads. It is employed in No. 530, and
forms the triangles in the centre of the middle squares.
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