Belgium: This wonderful Brussels Appliqué net lace parasol cover made of linen and silk is from 1880-1889 Belgium. It would have been a very costly item. It was made separately from the parasol and tacked on at the end of the production process.
Brussels application lace was a common technique in the second half of the eighteenth century as well as throughout the nineteenth century.
The Brussels bobbin lace is a part lace with naturalistic and graceful designs. There are raised outlines on the side of the clothwork, which can be observed from both fronts as well as back, a slightly scalloped edge with picots as well as needlelace filling stitches in the motifs. The net is visible behind some of the lace and cuts away behind other parts.
To assemble, the motifs were stitched from the reverse side. A look at the backside would show the net behind the motifs. Appliqué laces sometimes take the name of the materials applied to the net – as in Brussels bobbin lace appliqué, Brussels needlelace appliqué, and Honiton bobbin lace appliqué.
Brussels appliqué was also made by machine.
The net and motifs were made at the same time. The outline is on top of the clothwork (so it is only visible on the front). There is no net behind the motifs, as the motifs are made at the same time as the net.
After the bobbinet machine net became accessible in the early 1800s, appliqué laces became very popular. The smooth, consistent cotton netting became more commonly used with different lace techniques.
Bobbin as well as needlelace were used, as well as cut woven fabric, cloth tapes or layers of net. Part laces with separate and distinct motifs were well suited for appliqué.
John Heathcoat invented the bobbin net (now called bobbinet) lace machine in 1808 after he studied the hand movements of a Northamptonshire lacemaker and reproduced them in his machine.
The machine was so effective that the original design is little altered for modern bobbinet machines. The 1809 version of the machine, designed for use with cotton, became known as the Old Loughborough and became the standard lacemaking machine.
His machines caused Nottingham’s population and industry to explode. The lace warehouse district of Nottingham became known as the Lace Market.