I live just outside of Nottingham. Not so long ago the region hereabouts was synonymous with textiles, and more specifically, lace . Nottingham was the centre of lace production in the UK until a few decades ago, and the two words just went together ‘Nottingham Lace’.

The inventor of the stocking frame was from a village not far from where I live. That machine’s development changed the face of lace production in the 1700s. Engineers created machines that would reproduce fine handmade lace brought in to the city from across the country and around the world. Some of the machine made Nottingham Lace in the archive is so fine, even an expert can find it difficult to tell it from handmade lace. The Lace Market area of the city was the place for dyeing, finishing and trading lace brought in from the factories around. The city is still steeped in lace, even if most production has moved away.

J.C. Middlebrook
This is me! Photo credit: Ash Brown

I make my own lace textiles in my Nottinghamshire studio using computer software and digital embroidery machines. Although the heritage of the industry inspires me, I prefer to make wearable lace in vivid shades, challenging perceptions of what lace can be.

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Photography credits: The excellent photographs on this website have been taken by Ash Brown www.ashbrown.co.uk  (including this one), Phil Simms LRPS or Nick Rawle of www.nickrphotography.com . Thank you chaps. If you would like to use any of the photos on the website, please let me know in advance and credit the photographer. If you’re not sure, do ask.

Design Nation is a UK membership organisation for designer makers www.designnation.co.uk 

I’m proud to be a Fellow of Design Nation

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I’m a Plastic Free Cotgrave ‘Community Champion’. Plastic Free Cotgrave is a community organisation working to reduce single use plastics in our local community.

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