lace menders project

The Nottingham Lace industry relied heavily on the eyes and skill of lace menders. After my Masters degree, I was looking around for a new project. I’d acquired some vintage Nottingham Lace curtains, which had weakened in the sunlight and become quite unusable.  I also picked up some factory-soiled design drafts for lace curtains.  A plan formed to keep my mind busy with a new research project.

Reverse of stitch with blended colours

These fragments are the first designs in this series. The embroidery is in a cross-stitch style, using two colours commonly used in lace curtain drafts, red and green. I reversed the colours (red on top and green underneath, then vice versa for the other part), which makes a lovely mixed shade on the back of the design. The design is a fragment of a draft, of a rose design, to match a rose design in the curtain.

Just to be clear, the embroidery is done on my machine, not by hand. I make no claim to be Queen of the Hand-Stitch!

Nottingham Lace fragment from vintage lace curtain, restored using embroidery and presented in freestanding frame. The frame has either glass on one side and laser engraved polypropylene on the other, or glass on both sides. The fragment can be viewed from either side. The artist mark is laser-cut from mount card.

‘Right side’ of embroidery showing cross stitch detail.


Nottingham Lace fragment: cotton and nylon mix, backed with cotton bobbinet or nylon net.
Embroidery: 100% rayon thread.
The frame is a composite board, covered in a wood-effect vinyl.
Laser cut lettering: card.

The framed fragment will go live in the shop on 3rd December, prices from £25.

I’ll add more to this post when I have time, with information of my own links to textile repair , my interest in local textile history and about rescuing lace curtains seen as beyond repair.

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