Thursday, September 13, 2012

Teneriffe Lace maker

Last week at dinner, a friend of mine gave me a set of two Teneriffe lace makers. She had bought them at a yard sale for 3€. She had no interest in learning how to do it, but she thought I might. After she handed me the two square pin board looking things, she pulled out a photocopy of what these were with a news group website I could join written across the bottom.

How do you use these things? So I went to the news group and although interesting, as well as clearly in French, I do not need to join another group at this time. I am taking a pass for right now. My question remained, how do I use these things. I have two go-to websites for learning lace methods. The first one is out of the University of Arizona

The second one is Antique Pattern Library.  Antique Pattern Library is a project of New Media Arts, Inc. and is a nonprofit organization

Hours of research later I had my books.

From Arizona, The Technique of Teneriffe Lace by Alexandra Stillwell

From Antique Pattern Library I found

1. Dillmont, Th. de, ed. D.M.C. Dentelle Ténériffe, La. Mulhouse, Dollfus Mieg & Cie, [c.1895]

2. Proctor, Booklet of Designs and Instructions for Making Teneriffe and Filet Lace. Viroqua, Wisconsin:

3. Proctor Teneriffe Lace Wheel Co., 1903 Teneriffe Lace Designs and Instructions. Carl & Co., 1904
Paging through the books I found lots of fun ideas, but everything was round. I have a square maker and it is not like I can just drop in to my local Mercerie (store that sells sewing supplies) and buy a round Teneriffe lace maker.

I found this picture in book 3, page 46, and I quote:
"The above is an illustration of a square Teneriffe Lace Medallion and is made the same as the round, for that reason we give no explanation."
Ok, got it. I can do any of the round patterns and use my square makers.
Further reading brought me to book 2 above where directions for using a square start on page 29.
The medieval Torturing device shown aboveis what the book uses for making the square lace pieces.

I have to admit it is handy since it is placed on some sort of pin board and pins are all the way down, flush with the board so that you don't catch your working thread on the pins. It also has multiple sizing. This type also means that a curved needle would be nice to use.

Still in book 2, this is really a fun application using the square lace maker. It looks to use the larger Teneriffe lace maker. What fun!

How am I doing?

With any new technique I always have a lot of questions. Usually I am told I am doing it wrong.

Question: How do you thread the thing? Finally I figured it out with the help of The Technique of Teneriffe Lace by Alexandra Stillwell.

The score became Teneriffe maker - 1, Me - 0

Ugg, I was one off in the wrapping of the threads around all of those pins. You find that out at the very end after dealing with twisting thread and pins that like to grab onto everything and anything. I ripped it all out for round 2. Painstakingly made sure I was at center and tried again. 

Question: What thread do you use?
Answer - It appears not to matter. It depends on what you are putting it on, how you are going to use it and the size. Some books give no information others off hand suggest matching to project
Score Teneriffe maker 2, Me 0.  Why?

Compare me, in blue, with Design No 45 in black and white. My threads are way too close together in comparison to Design No. 45. For my thickness of thread I should be using every 2nd or 3rd nail, not every nail like I used. Well darn. It was very difficult to make the center area. I am going to continue on with it and then do one with less threads.  You know, practice makes perfect.


  1. Way to go, Jean! I will enjoy following your sewing, heirloom and craft adventures.

    1. Aren't you lucky, my friends never buy me lace making equipment, where do you get friends like that? I would love to give Teneriffe a go, probably won't get time until the kids grow up though!

  2. Finally got to your blog, Jean. This will be fun keeping up with your French adventures.This lace production looks challenging.

  3. You are farther than I am on my Teneriffe Lace. I lay mine out on printed paper with close cell foam under the paper. Any compass will make the circles I want. I have the book by Alexandra Stillwell. I will make several medallions in the 2 inch size, and then I will make some smaller disks. When I want a square one, I will take out a ruler and draw a square one. I think your tools are marvelous!