Lace Curtains - Styles Available
Lace curtains are an attractive window covering which let the light into the room while shutting out unsightly views or the gaze of people passing by. Lace is an open-weave fabric which is made by looping, knotting or plaiting fine threads together to form intricate, delicate patterns. Sheer curtains made of lace have the ability to add a romantic, traditional feel to most rooms. A single lace panel can have a permanent position hung across a window and be coupled with heavier outer curtains which can drawn to provide additional cover at nighttime. Lace curtains can be backed with sheer, colored linings to create interesting effects.
Lace-making originated in north Italy in the sixteenth century - Venice, in particular, was a center for lace-making. Hand-made lace took a lot of work to produce and was worn as status symbol. Motifs or designs were created which could then be stitched on to netting or another patterned open-weave background. Techniques for making lace include crocheting, needlepoint or machine. Modern lace is made of linen, cotton, rayon, polyester or other man-made materials.
There are different styles of lace available which reproduce traditional patterns:
- Batternberg lace is characterized by loops and curves with motifs of butterflies, hearts or flowers for a romantic, traditional look. This type of lace is a tape lace which is a narrow piece of lace produced by machine and then stitched onto the fabric.
- French lace is light and flowery in style. Lace-making in France originated in the sixteenth century influenced by Venetian designs but less severe and more fanciful.
- Making Irish crocheted lace became a popular means for the poor to extend their income when the potato crop failed. Young girls imitated needle-stitched Venetian lace to produce fine crocheted Irish lace which found its way into high society, including the court of Queen Victoria . Certain areas in Ireland became famous for their lace production.
- Victorian lace is perfect for period properties. It is possible to find antique lace curtains from the end of the nineteenth century when lace curtains were at the height of their popularity, but they are rare and not always in pristine condition. Alternatively there are modern curtains which are produced in a Victorian style to recreate the spirit of that era.