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Beautiful Lace, Too Precious to Waste

Exquisitely beautiful and ultimately feminine, lace added to a garment creates style, elegance and grace. Although our prices are kept competitively low, lace can be a somewhat costly material due to the workmanship that has gone into creating it. For this reason, avoiding waste is crucial.

When choosing a lace, you should choose the best you can afford. Fibre content is important; cotton laces which have a 10% polyester content are slightly more expensive but are longer lasting and do not turn yellow from washing or age. Nylon lace, although more cost-effective, can be more difficult to work with and also can lose its shape and melt when it is ironed. Consideration should also be given to what type of lace is most suitable for the project in mind, for example the amount needed and the placement on the garment.

Chantilly lace is very beautiful and ruffles well; it is particularly suited to embellishments. Another popular type is Alencon or Corded lace; outlined in threads, whiskers or silken cord, the net background has an attractive floral motif. Manufactured in a slightly different way, Guipure lace is first embroidered onto a foundation which is then dissolved, leaving behind only the motifs. Very personalised lace can be created in this way and the usually directional pattern is easy to cut, stitch and embellish.

Lace should always be pressed before use, positioned face down on terry towel material with a silk organza pressing cloth on top. If the quality of the lace needs restoring, waxed paper can also be used. After applying spray starch and waiting a short time for the fibres to absorb it, the lace can be gently pressed with the iron set to a low heat and minimal use of steam.

After the lace is pressed, the sewing can begin. Start with a full set of pattern pieces in muslin, marking the top edges and side seams; a wide seam allowance should be used. Position the lace on top of the muslin pieces and pin down before using small sharp scissors to cut the lace. Always double check the pieces of lace against the border layout and overlay or piece the lace if it doesn’t exactly match the pattern. The fabric must be marked underneath, the two pieces joined and then treated as a single piece of fabric. All important seam lines should be thread traced with contrasting threads after the lace is pinned to the muslin.

Lace borders and trims are easily created and are very attractive. After lining up the apexes of the scallops right at the edge of the fabric, pin them together. Use a narrow zigzag stitch to attach the lace to the fabric and then press, before shaping borders around curves. For a concave curve, cut into the lace and spread it out, patching with extra lace if necessary. If a convex curve is preferred, pin at the apex and shape around fabric, flattening the lace in the process. Then, avoiding cutting through the cords, trim the netting and sew. To create invisible darts on the lace, take a corded or leading edge, overlap and pin then hand-stitch into place. If side seams need to be pieced, the lace should once again be overlapped, pinned and hand-stitched before trimming away any excess lace.

Platinum Bridal Fabrics supply many types and styles of lace and other wedding dress material. Our bridal lace fabrics are of the highest quality and can be dyed to order, allowing for an array of unique and individual effects to suit any bride. Please contact our dedicated team for any further advice or information.

For more information then please call us today on 01254 873333 or email info@­bridalfabrics.­co.­uk.

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