, usually made of finely-spun linen
thread, made with pairs of bobbins
: long, slender sticks often with a "spangle", or weight on one end and a tiny spool on the other. The fabric is woven by taking two pairs of bobbins at a time and twisting like pairs or crossing near threads on opposite pairs. Since the fabric is loose, and there's no knot or other holding mechanism, it's temporarily held down with headless steel pins
on a pillow
. Making lace is quite possibly one of the smallest-scale human endeavors possible without the use of lenses
: since the fingers never (should) touch the fabric-in-progress, the worker is guided only by the position of the bobbins themselves and the "card
", or pattern guide with holes for pins and lines to indicate the general outlines of the work. In this way patterns with tolerances of a small fraction of a millimeter are possible by people with normal vision in normal light.
Torchon, or "rag" lace is the easiest to make, but there are many other kinds as well:Cluny lace, Bucks point lace, and Beds-Maltese.