I have collected this information for anyone who is interested in this beautiful lace.
|The only books I could find about Maltese Lace
are as follows:
Gozo lace: an introduction to lacemaking in the Maltese Islands
by Consiglia Azzopardi
132 p: ill. including 72 prickings in folder
and the follow-up book:
It could be argued that this cuff on the right is Befordshire lace because of the lack of Maltesee crosses but the other Maltese eliments are the cream colored silk and the FAT wheatear leaves which it has.
|The Maltese Cross ia a design Element that almost
always identifies Maltese Lace. It was inserted into the lace when Maltese
lace became so popular around Europe it was frequently copied.
It can be found woven into the lace or as shown here in the fabric inset.
Another way to identify Maltesse lace is the Cream colored silk used to make the lace or the very fat "wheat-ear leaves" shown below. Modern Maltese is now also made from cotton .
an article written by Lori Howe for suite101.com
Lacemaking in Malta and neighboring Gozo trace their origins back to the 16th century. Needlelace was made there as in was in Venice. This continued until the 19th century when the depression that descended upon the islands nearly led to its extinction. Two people are responsible for introducing and promoting a new lace in these islands in the mid 1800’s. Lady Hamilton Chichester sent lacemakers from Genoa, where the technique of Italian bobbin lace was developed to Malta. They used the old patterns into ones using bobbins instead of the slower time-consuming needles. On Gozo it was the promotion by Dun Guzeppe, designer, that made lacemaking a way of raising the standard of living for local families. It wasn't long after its introduction before the Maltese/Gozo lace developed its own unique style from those on the continent.
One of the most recognizable traits of Maltese and Gozo lace is the creamy, honey colored, Spanish silk from which most of it is made. Black silk was also used until the 20th century when it declined in favor so is harder to find today. Later linen was also used in some pieces used for household purposes instead of clothing, as it was more durable.
The last of the most recognizable features are the leaves known as “wheat ears” or “oats”. They are plump and rounded in shape compared to the long narrow Bedfordshire lace leaves. Bedfordshire lace, which is sometimes compared to Maltese lace, has some similarities and were probably both developed from the Genosese bobbin lace.
It is interesting to note that larger pieces of
real Maltese lace are made by piecing together sections rarely wider than
6 inches. One more thing to look for in accessing Maltese design is the
more fluid styles. Genoese lace is more geometric and without the swirls
developed in Gozo. Another interesting item that lacemakers might
find interesting is that the patterns do not have the pin holes pre-marked
as in the closely related “Beds” lace. The study of Maltese/Gozo
lace is at best difficult, as there is very little printed material about
it. The only author who has written about it in English is Consiglia Azzopardi.
She has written 2 books. The first:
This was made of linen
unlike the rest which is silk.
If you compare the leaves above with the ones below you can see the difference between
the linen and silk.
|I'm not sure what these are. I think they were sewn together at one time forming a Tie of sorts.||
This is a piece of my Best Maltese Lace.
This lace is so fine I can't believe it.
The above section measures 5 1/2 "by 9"
so you can imagine how fine the stitches are!
shows the Maltese Cross
woven into the lace.
The actual size of the cross is only 1"!
That makes those leaves only 1 mm long!!!!
I could never work that fine.
Links about Maltese/Gozo Lace
elegant Gozitan lace
BIZZILLA a craft handed over by the Knights