Is net the same as lace?

- Jun 28, 2017 -

      Net is the base or ground upon which lace is made. Netting as a plain mesh that can be made of square holes, hexagons or small circles. Netting is mistakenly called "lace" in modern times -in reality it isn't lace until it has something decorating it. Conversely, many textiles that should be called Lace are called netting. The best way to look at it is if it's a plain mesh it's a netting, if it's got any type of embellishment, embroidery or decoration it's lace.

Lace is netting with motifs such as flowers, leaves or abstract swirls added on. Common names used for modern laces include: Chantilly, alencon, duchesse, "netted honiton" filet, point ground or the modern indifferently named "netted lace" Most of these are worked on a knitting frame called a "raschel machine" Lace can be made without a netted ground: thickly embroidered motifs are held together by their own stitching without net underneath. These are called Guipure laces. Some guipure laces are made with bars holding the motifs together. Some laces are long braided and woven strips of with braided bars holding the woven and braided motifs together. These are known as cluny laces or crochet laces (Even though they aren't crocheted -they merely look like crocheted lace) The final type of modern lace is made with tapes sewn together into flowers and leaves and abstract designs. This is known as Battenburg lace. All modern laces are made by machines, there are a few hand embellished laces but they are very expensive.

The only real hand made lace found today is tatted, knitted and crochet. Tatted lace is hand made with a shuttle, thread and a series of knots. it's changed little since the late 1800's when it was most popular. Lace can also be made by crochet and by knitting but this is done for pleasure not commerce.

In your picture you have a classic netted lace insertion -a simple yet decorative alencon type. Insertions are meant to be used between two pieces of fabric -hence "insertion" or to be used between two other laces or as an edging at the end of a a sleeve or dress hem or blouse hem. If you are putting lace similar to this up for sale then the generic "netted alencon type lace" term will describe that you are selling. As a buyer I will have a reasonable idea of what the lace looks like before I even see the picture.


Besides the name of the special type of fabric, if there is one, and the treatment, canvas is identified by its weight in ounces per square yard and by two grading systems based on the weight of a piece of duck 36 by 22 inches (about 92 by 56 cm).

The first system, for fabric weighing less than 19 ounces (about 54 decagrams) per square yard (91.4 square cm), runs from 1 to 12, but the highest three odd numbers are not used anymore, so the numbered duck grades are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and 12, growing progressively lighter in weight. 
The sizing for fabric weighing 19 or more ounces per square yard is called naught duck and runs 1/0 to 6/0, with the largest number representing 24 ounces (about 68 decagrams) for the measure of duck. 


What is linen?
Linen is a natural fiber, made from the stalk of a flax plant. It is regarded in Europe as the best quality fabric. Europeans have long favored linen for their sheeting because of its amazing properties. It softens the more it is used and washed, is extremely durable and lasts decades when cared for correctly. It is not uncommon that European families will pass linen sheets on to the younger generation as an heirloom. Vintage linen is very desirable, it’s soft and the feeling is very hard to replicate by any mechanical process.
Benefits of linen
Linen is a very durable fiber and has many benefits over cotton.
-          Linen is 30% stronger than cotton
-          Has a high moisture absorbency
-          Hypo-allergenic
-          Highly breathable
-          Structurally sound fiber so products keep their shape
-          Environmentally friendly – less water and chemicals to cultivate

Why does linen have a lower thread count?

The linen fiber is derived from the middle of the flax plant, so it will be naturally thicker than the cotton bolls from the cotton plant. An average linen fabric used for sheeting has a thread count of between 80 and 150, which would be considered low for a cotton sheet. Cotton percale starts at around 200 thread count, a result of the finer yarns used. It is easier to fit a higher number of yarns into an inch if they are fine cotton. You can only fit so many bulky yarns into that same inch if they are linen, so the results can vary  substantially.
As previously mentioned the thread count is not an indication of quality, as linen fabric has a much lower thread count but is considered by many to be a far superior fabric quality.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of cotton?

Cotton offers some advantages in that it's inexpensive, absorbent, breathable and soft. It also has some disadvantages such as it is not wrinkle resistant, and it takes a long time to dry. The color fades in sunlight, and it is likely to stretch or shrink. 
Cotton doesn't stain easily. It is static-cling resistant, and it can withstand high temperatures. It comes in different weights, so it may be used for a wide variety of projects. 
Cotton fabric may be washed in water at any temperature. The fabric may be tumble-dried, but it should be promptly folded or hung after drying to avoid wrinkling. It may be ironed at high temperatures.

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