Historical Schwalm Whitework and Machine-Made Lace

Schwalm people often considered ready-made items more valuable than precious hand-made items. So they liked to add machine-made lace to their elaborate and finely embroidered cushions, bed coverings, and door hangings.

Especially popular were the so-called bell borders that edged some projects.

These were fine machine-made cotton lace bands combined with prominent and fancy knotted fringes.

A door hanging from 1845 with a cross stitch crown,

a tall whitework border with openwork needleweaving bands in the middle part,

and, at the bottom, more openwork pattern bands bordered with double Peahole and Four-Sided stitch hems on top and on bottom got a bell border for its bottom edging.

An old bed covering with a grand Schwalm crown, elaborate needleweaving hems, and bobbin lace inserts

got an edging of machine-made lace.

Also a bed covering from about 1860 – unique and elaborately embroidered –

got such a machine-made edging.

This piece, from 1839, and more outstanding examples of the finest whitework embroidery combined with machine-made lace can be found in the museum of Holzburg. This small village museum is always worth a visit.

Besides these machine-made lace edgings, the Schwalm people often inserted machine-made lace bands between hand embroidery.
On the pincushion in the image below, the machine-made band is bordered by needleweaving hems on both sides.

A bed covering shows a cross stitch crown, many different hem patterns, inserted machine-made lace,

and two kinds of machine-made lace edging.

The museum in Holzburg has an interesting bed covering on display. It is elaborately embroidered with elements of early Schwalm whitework and boasts a grand Schwalm crown showing the year 1822.

Additionally, it is decorated with an inserted band of machine-made lace and machine-made lace edging. I was kindly allowed to show these images on my blog. The partial details cannot show the full spendor of the exhibit, but one can get an idea of the magnificence. The museum welcomes every visitor interested in the details of such selected works.

Bobbin Lace in the Schwalm (2)

In the article Bobbin Lace in the Schwalm (1) you saw the different garments and linens that included bobbin lace. Now please enjoy a closer look at the different bobbin laces.

The finest and smallest bobbin laces were those found on knitted baby caps.
1_KS_2Four bobbin lace edgings were tightly gathered and sewn at the edges of knitted baby caps.
2_KS_22 cm wide bobbin lace found on a baby cap
3_KS_21.5 cm wide bobbin lace found on a baby cap. It seems that picots were added after finishing the lace.
4_KS_25 cm wide bobbin lace with tulips found on a dyed-to-blue Schwalm bodice
5_KS_24.5 cm wide bobbin lace with flowers found on a dyed-to-blue Schwalm bodice
6-KS_23.5 cm wide bobbin lace with a free-form pattern found on very old dyed-to-blue Schwalm bodice sleeves
7_KS_23.5 cm wide bobbin lace found on a dyed-to-blue Schwalm bodice for a girl. The bodice was made from linen cambric and finely embroidered. In contrast to the fineness of the fabric and embroidery, the bobbin lace is rather dense.
8_KS_24 cm wide bobbin lace found on a dyed-to-blue, and later decolorized, very fine Schwalm bodice from 1849
9_KS_23.5 cm wide bobbin lace found on dyed-to-blue, and later decolorized, very fine Schwalm bodice sleeves
10_KS_23 cm wide bobbin lace found on a dyed-to-blue Schwalm bodice from 1925
11_KS_24 cm wide bobbin lace found on a dyed-to-blue Schwalm communion cap
12_KS_25 cm wide bobbin lace found on a dyed-to-blue Schwalm communion cap
13_KS_25 cm wide bobbin lace found on a dyed-to-blue Schwalm communion cap
14_KS_25 cm wide bobbin lace found on a dyed-to-blue Schwalm communion cap
15_KS_25 cm wide bobbin lace found on a dyed-to-blue Schwalm decorative handkerchief
16_KS_23.5 cm wide bobbin lace found on a dyed-to-blue Schwalm decorative handkerchief
17_KS_23.5 cm wide bobbin lace found as bands for tying on a pillowcase
18_KS_23.5 cm wide bobbin lace in combination with sprang technique found on a Schwalm bed covering (A)
19_KS_2A second bobbin lace – also 3.5 cm wide – found on the Schwalm bed covering (A)
20_KS_2And a third bobbin lace – 4 cm wide – combined with the sprang technique, found on the Schwalm bed covering (A)
21_KS_2Also interesting here is how the lace band was attached with Plaited Insertion stitch (also known as Interlaced Insertion stitch).
22_KS_25 cm wide bobbin lace found on two edges of a Schwalm bed covering from 1832
23_KS_2Wide bobbin lace bands in combination with needle-weaving bands found on a Schwalm bed covering

There are a wide variety of different types of bobbin lace and bobbin lace patterns used in Schwalm.

Here is a publication that shows even more bobbin lace patterns and provides the matching schematics for working them:
24_KS_2Freihandspitzen in Schwälmer Textilien
Ingrid Hick, Christa Röhr, Marianne Stang

Purchase from:
Forum Alte Spitze GbR
Am Tomberg 18
52531 Übach-Palenberg

Bobbin Lace in the Schwalm (1)

The area in and around Neukirchen, in the Schwalm, was a hotspot for making bobbin lace. So it is not surprising that bobbin lace is found on both different garments and different linens.
As already mentioned in the article Historical Schwalm Whitework and Lace, bobbin lace, in combination with Schwalm whitework, is found at the sleeve cuffs of the blue bodices and at the edges of the dyed-to-blue decorative handkerchiefs.
Bobbin lace is also found on bed coverings, door hangings, and at the front edges of the dyed-toblue communion caps. It is also found on knitted baby caps.

Here are some examples of all these:
1_KS_1Very elaborately embroidered dyed-to-blue bodice sleeve with bobbin lace
2_KS_1Dyed-to-blue decorative handkerchief with whitework and bobbin lace
3_KS_1Parts of two different bed coverings with crowns, openwork pattern bands, needle-weaving bands, and bobbin lace
4_KS_1Pillowcase with bobbin lace as bands for tying
5_KS_1Dyed-to-blue old Schwalm “Ziehhaube” (communion cap) with bobbin lace at the front edge
6_KS_1Knitted baby cap with bobbin lace at the edges
7_KS_1Contemporary Schwalm whitework on a tablecloth with bobbin lace at the edges

A Cozy for Candies

When I was young, it was common to make cozies for dinner rolls. Looking for a nice little project using needlelace, I remembered those cozies. I want to make a small one for sweets. Of course, the candy must be wrapped to be displayed in a linen cozy.

I decided to have the outside layer a little bit wider. So, using a tool (such as small plates), trace on 20/cm thread count linen – with some excess fabric between – one circle with a diameter of 18 cm and two circles each with a diameter of 16 cm. It is important that the linen is completely free of any wrinkles before drawing the circles.
cozy_1To prevent the fabric from fraying, the edges are secured. Directly inside each line, work a row of Chain stitches using coton à broder No. 30. The Chain stitches are covered with densely worked Blanket stitches using coton à broder No. 20.
cozy_2The linen is boiled, ironed, and cut. It is best to start working the needlelace (simple Buttonhole stitch scallops, using coton à broder No. 16) on one of the smaller circles, which will become the inside layer, because any unevenness will be nearly invisible later. Decide the width of the desired needlelace and mark the entire edge. For my cozy, I chose a width of 1.4 cm. To mark the scallop placements, I used a transfer pencil because its colour will easily disappear when the piece is washed. Simple Buttonhole stitch scallops are also worked on the second small circle. The outside layer’s edging should be somewhat more prominent, so double Buttonhole stitch scallops are worked on the larger circle. Here I chose a width of 2 cm.
cozy_3For more information – more patterns and detailed working instructions – please refer to my booklet Schwalm Needlelace edge decorations.
Please notice that the needlelace scallops are attached to the loops of the Blanket stitches.
cozy_4This makes the back side neat and tidy.
cozy_5When all three doilies are finished, they need to be ironed again.
cozy_6Using the transfer pencil, the middle circle is divided (marked on the right side) into 12 even sections.
cozy_7The inside circle is divided (marked on the back side) into 6 even sections.
cozy_8Right sides facing up, center the middle circle on top of outer circle (the larger circle). Using a sewing machine, sew these to circles together on every second line from edge to edge.
cozy_9The inner circle is placed on top of the two joined circles, right sides together, so that the unstitched marks of the middle circle and the marks of the inner circle are matching.
cozy_10The middle and the inner circles are sewn together along the marked lines. Begin stitching from the outer edge inwards; you will not be able to reach all the way to the center with your sewing machine.
cozy_11The piece is gently washed again to remove all the marks.
cozy_12The piece is starched very well and ironed.

Using the twister a thin cord is made. It is threaded through the middle scallop of each section of the top layer.
cozy_13The cord is drawn and tied into a bow. (If you prefer something less obtrusive, you can use an embroidery thread, delicate ribbon, or even sew in some small snaps to draw and hold the cozy together.)
cozy_14Even unfilled this project is an eye catcher.
cozy_15Filled with some wrapped candies it will be the star of every party table. Also it is a nice gift.
cozy_16To accommodate larger sweets, like Ferrero Rocher balls, the circles should have a diameter that is approximately 2-3 cm wider. The picture below shows how the larger candies look a bit too crowded in the cozy as described in this article.
cozy_17Embroidering needlelace is really easy, and having a little project makes practicing it fun. With needlelace one can easily add extra beauty to needlework. So, please don’t be afraid – give it a try!

Schwalm Needlelace – Easily Embroidered

Many totally different Schwalm needlelace edge decorations have already been shown in many blog posts: the simple needlelace scallops stacked in the shape of a pyramid,
nadelspitze_1needlelace pyramids, and
nadelspitze_2multirow simple needlelace scallops with pyramids inside and outlined with connected picots.
nadelspitze_3Also presented was needlelace made in a double row of scallops: Two scallops were stitched side by side; a third scallop was stitched on top of the two to connect them, and a fourth scallop, which was additionally decorated with picots, spans over the trio.
nadelspitze_4Readers of my blog also saw this edging: Three rows of bound double scallops as well as one row of single scallops decorate the sleeve cuff of a traditional Schwalm bodice.
nadelspitze_5And needlelace was also seen worked on the bottom edge of a lampshade. The needlelace was made in an inverted pyramid shape (3-2-1). A row of picots borders the outside edges of the pyramids and binds them together.
nadelspitze_6And one of the blog’s many projects, a small lavender bag, featured a single row of simple needlelace scallops on its edge.
nadelspitze_7Below are two more examples of needlelace edgings: Three rows of simple needlelace scallops with pyramids inside and outlined with connected picots decorate a traditional Schwalm bodice (C).
nadelspitze_8And four-tier scallop pyramids outlined with Bullion Knot picots finish the especially beautiful contemporary Schwalm table cloth.
nadelspitze_9This selection gives you only a small glimpse into the variety of needlelace edge decorations common in the Schwalm. The booklet also includes many needlelace edgings from different centuries, including some rare examples. By combining single elements of the edgings many more needlelace patterns can be established. Unfortunately, many embroiderers shy away from working needlelace – the edgings are really very easy to embroider if one has good instructions at hand.

Here is the guidance you’ve been looking for! In this downloadable file, you will get 51 pages that include more than 200 pictures and instructions for working all the most popular Schwalm needlelace edgings. Of course, the edgings are described in great detail and illustrated with step-bystep instructions. After an introduction into the subject, needlelace scallops, needlelace pyramids, and picots are explained. Below is the table of contents:

Simple Buttonhole stitch scallops including basic layout and working notes
Double Buttonhole stitch scallops
Multirow Buttonhole stitch scallops
Simple Buttonhole stitch scallops stacked in the shape of a pyramid
Simple Blanket stitch pyramid
Supported Blanket stitch pyramid
Supported Buttonhole stitch pyramid
Wrapped Buttonhole stitch pyramid
Simple Buttonhole stitch pyramid
Pyramid inside scallops
Picots made with Bullion Knots
Picots made with Buttonhole or Blanket stitches – also called connected picots

51 pages
211 images
21,5 MB file size
text: English
25.00 EUR
download here

Of course it is also possible to get this publication as a printed booklet for the same price (25.00 EUR) plus shipping charges. This option is not shown in my online shop, so please email me with your request.