Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

26 May 2007

Textile Stuff Everywhere

Thursday my husband and I both went with our son on the school field trip. We went to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum first, where I have done tatting and lace knitting demonstrations with the West Michigan Lace Group a couple of times.

Even though I have been there before, I never saw this item before: a horse's head covering or fly fringe. The identifying tag said it was crocheted, as many things are "crocheted", crochet being a code word for "some kind of textile technique".

It is not crocheted: it is hand-netted.

I love my new Fuji camera -- you can even see the knots, despite taking the photo with no flash through the glass case, with fluorescent lighting turning everything yellow.

Someone really, really loved her horse, to make all those knots.

On the second floor, in the 1900's "store" exhibit, there is even a length of knitted lace. Whether knitted lace would have been for sale in a store of the time, I have no idea.

After exploring the museum, watching a planetarium show, and listening to a talk about the weather (mid-80's F Thursday), we went on to the Kalamazoo Nature Center and ate our lunches.

Since these field trips are supposed to be educational, after lunch we went down the road to the Delano homestead, a restored 1858 farmhouse.

While the kids listened to a museum staff member, I took a look at the rug loom, and in one room I found this bobbin lace pillow.

The pillow itself is in fair condition, but the lace itself is folded over, most of the bobbins have been pulled loose, and the pins are rusted right into the pricking.

And what is this mystery item that was on top of the pillow in my first picture?

I have picked up all kinds of odd textile-tool knowledge, but I don't know what this is. Possibly a bead loom?

The silvery comb-like things are completely unrusted. My guess is that they are aluminum.

You never know where you are going to run across textile things. I know I wouldn't have gone to a nature center looking for a lace pillow!

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Blogger Julie said...

I rather doubt that knitted lace would have been for sale in a store in that era, or many others... knitted lace was something you did when you couldn't afford to buy 'real' lace. It was seen as a rather blue collar thing to do. (Maybe my own blue collar upbringing is why I like it so much?) I assume that the old economic reasons are why there is still a bias in lace-making about whether or not knitted lace is 'real lace' or not. (And I'm not even gonna start on the 'knitted lace' vs. 'lace knitting' crap.)

12:35 PM  

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