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Alice Clague, a member of the Castlemaine Branch of the Embroiderers Guild, Victoria presents for sale a selection of her Collection of Antique Lace. Exquisite examples of lace are framed in conservation museum materials to protect and preserve them forever.
'These beautiful laces were produced to be seen, loved and admired. So, after storing them carefully for many years, I decided to allow some of my collection to be seen, loved and admired once more.
All have been tacked on to 100% rag conservation card using either silk or cotton thread and the framing is archival.
All the examples displayed are machine-made lace. It is important to know that very good machine-made lace was being manufactured over 150 years ago. These laces have been assessed as being produced either in the late 19th Century or in the early years of the 20th Century.Net had been manufactured by machine in the first decade of the 19th Century and this led to experiments in constructing a machine for making lace itself. John Leavers of Nottingham invented such a machine and from around 1830 old patterns were so skilfully reproduced that it was difficult to tell hand-made lace from the machine copy. During the latter years of the 19th Century, lace was still an expensive and essential part of a lady’s attire and the test of a good dressmaker or lady’s maid was to know how to manipulate lace elegantly without damaging it. It is difficult to realize the immense value placed on lace, not only financially but as a status symbol.
World War 1 slowed the demand for lace and after 1918 fashions changed suddenly; clothes became simpler, more practical and were comparatively unadorned. In the years that followed, machine-made lace was still used as material for dresses and for household items such as tablecloths and curtains, whilst lace trimmings are still an elegant addition to ladies underwear and baby clothes'.