RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Imagine  >  Belgian Lace: Waltz of a Thousand Threads

Belgian Lace: Waltz of a Thousand Threads

Author: 04.03.2018 | art, Belgium
At the sight of Flemish lacework it is hard to shake the feeling that miraculous flowers, artfully braided into a wreath of a pattern, were born from loose sparks that had escaped a magic wand. On the inside of the beauty there are efforts and days of jetsam girls, stolen from life by labyrinth of openwork loops. Having compelled self-will of the thread to a dream about heaven, promised for humility, skills defied despair and need – to secure victory.

Famous Belgian lace follows Venetian traditions of guipure manufacturing – components of openwork cloth with fanciful ornamentation acquired by means of either sewing or connecting separate fragments of the pattern with hairline ligaments. Distinctive texture of a cloth is achieved due to difference in thickness of core and lacing threads.

Unlike other countries, in Belgium lace knitting has never been an amusement for bored girls from noble families. Daughters of poor men took to spindles that served as the only source of income for them; establishment of exquisite Bruges style was facilitated by bishop Van Susteren who suggested creation of handcrafts to provide orphans and dowerless girls with legal income.

Home trade turning of into a profession has outlined broad horizons for development of techniques and methods of lace knitting. Early items that date back to 16th century were of mimical nature, imitating Italian geometric patterns carefully, however by mid-following-century three authentic styles emerged in works of Belgian lace-makers: Barbant, Brussels and Bruges.

Photo 3.bp.blogspot.com

Magnificent era of baroque wallowed in playful waves of Barbant lace. Almost every field in Barbant was seeded with linen to obtain soft elastic fibers of delicate pink shade. Having absorbed moisture, linen thread would become flexible and supple therefore craftswomen used to work in damp basements in uneven light of candles. Can it be this quaint dance of shadows on unhomely stone walls where dressy motives of Barbant lace take roots – squiggly leaves of acanthus and stylized flowers, enrolled in round dances of ligature scripts?

Cellated grid made of hexagonal loops served as a background for the design, two sides of those loops were located in parallel to the basis formed by intertwinement of four remaining sides. Sometimes lacy cloth was decorated with “points d’espirit” – miniature decorative elements assembled of Richelieu loops.

Photo i.ytimg.com

Before the very end of 17th century overloaded baroque splendor was shifted by flittering gracefulness of rococo. On frock coats of fashionistas from Versailles weightless Binche lace got settled like an airy web – a true treasure for romantic stories and witty allegories. Woven basis was replaced with crochet pique decorated with in-relief pattern of complete and intermittent loops made on spindlers. An interesting feature of Binche guipure was snow-white background pattern borrowed from ancient Flanders lace.

In the age of Enlightenment attention of the public switched to Brussels net lace. Large realistic flowers, wreaths, monograms and garlands that formed design were produced separately this time to be connected with thin fine-mashed net. Translucent veil woven from mysteries, hints and enigmas resounded precisely with adventurous spirit of the Fete galante. In aristocratic circles Angleterre plaiting was highly appreciated, net curtain took turn with ligaments and contours of flowers and branches were emphasized with soft relief.

Burghers’ class preferred less complicated guipures from Antwerp or Mechlin lace from Mechelen based on thick patterned net. Antwerp knitting can be easily told by repeats with flowers in pots and vases belted with ribbons and Mechelen lace acquires pronounced relief due to trimming of the pattern with voluminous shiny thread.

Photo farm4.staticflickr.com

Trademark of combined Bruges technique became masterly braided flowers and heraldic shapes scattered against the background of continuously-knitted satin ribbon accentuated with whirling curls of loopy brim. Each leaf is carefully enlaced with variously-thick silk threads to endue work of fiction with live sensitive flesh.

Several currents can be specified within the framework of Bruges style. Composition of A La Russe guipures is built around continual whirling ribbon executed with complete loops decorated with leaves and spikes. And favorite lace of Henrietta Maria, nee archduchess of Austria, did perfectly without any bases: fragments of Duchesse plaiting were connected with inkle ligaments integrated into traditional flowery pattern.

Light Rosaline lace actively uses repeat of five openwork petals located in front of each other. The pattern has basic braided thread; free space gets filled with small refined leaves. Items created with central positioning of crocheted in-relief element, called pearls of Rosaline, are appreciated most.

Invention of bobbing-net machine simplified lace-knitting techniques significantly. In 19th century reasonably-priced appliqué lace on machine-made basis and with sewn-over pattern enjoyed demand however all in all industrialization played Old Harry with the folk trade: blistering sales build-up led to drastic simplification of repeats, breaking free flight of fancy.

Photo flysfo.com

Since than souvenir rows at Grand Place are almost literally swamped with lacy napkins and towels however cardboard patterns don’t inspire experienced European tourists. In the centre of lace manufacturing, Bruges, one can find curious creations of modern craftsmen however synthetic fibers have no ingratiating tenderness of Barbant linen whatsoever. True Belgian lace of ancient work is probably preserved only at antique stores to have five-digit price tags on it. Genuine beauty still steers clear of grass roots…

Main photo 2.bp.blogspot.com

It will be interesting:
Mandala Therapy
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
STEP OVER THRESHOLD: THE MAGICAL ART OF THE HUICHOL PEOPLE
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life. Twilight land of legends always have a shelter for a weary traveller: no one is alone on the paths of spirits.
The Sistine Chapel Illusions
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple. However, while admiring another line intricacy and allusive painting theme, bear in mind that beneath the plot of glossy surface, as per usual, stand painfully familiar disputes with an impatient client, unpleasant surprises from nature and damaged health of painters-executants.
Filthy creativity
Dirty cars are like a host for an artist. One may treat such art differently. Someone will wrinkle his nose and disdainfully wrestle his clothes. Others necessarily want to put a finger in such a picture in order to check the fragility of the "canvas" and smear its outlines. However, others will definitely make a selfie. However, nobody can pass by.
Flowers in Ukrainian Style. Kateryna Bilokur
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.
Twelve guises of South Korea
Only dancing and wearing mask, Korean peasants were able to express their disgust towards rudeness or greed of the hosts or apply to some deity with extraordinary request. Keeping anonymity, the people played out the scenes from life, cried, and laughed. At the end of the performance the destiny awarded the good characters and punished villains.
A jewelry approach to perfection
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage. If only he knew that it would come true, maestro would hardly have lost his spiritual strength...
BALTIC GOLD: AMBER RUNNING THROUGH VEINS
We have amber flowing through our veins, joke the Balts. They believe that a sunny stone comes from tear drops of their goddess Jūratė. According to legend, she was careless enough to fall in love with a mere mortal fisherman named Kastytis who day by day cast his nets to the Baltic Sea. Jūratė forgot that immortal ones are not allowed to enjoy simple human happiness, she fascinated the young man to the bottom of the sea into her amber castle, and there the couple in love lost count of days and nights. On hearing this, the lord of gods Perkūnas decided to punish them: bolt of lightening stroke mortal lover, and disobedient lady was chained within her precious possessions for all eternity. Since then, the grieving goddess cries dropping yellow tears, and waters of the Baltic carry them to the shore for others to enjoy.
The Spouse of the Ambassador of Georgia organized a meeting of the Ambassadors Spouses Club and the show of national clothes
The spouse of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Ukraine Irina Sultanishvili carried out a meeting of the Ambassadors Spouses Club, in the frame of which some traditional clothes was demonstrated.
Handicraft: persian rugs
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
Fashion Pioneers
Fashion is an act. Fashion is a demonstration of freedom. Not being afraid to once seem ridiculous and odd, a person risks to become a part of fashion industry. Some names it remembers, some are wrongly forgotten and for some it becomes a pursuit, the meaning of the whole life.
Play of Minsk Film Actor’s Studio Theater under support of Embassy of Belarus in the capital
In Kyiv academic theater of drama and comedy under support of Embassy of Belarus to Ukraine and Kyiv city governmental administration it was the play ‘Marriage contract’ of Minsk Film Actor’s Studio Theater. The performance was going in the frame of the tour in Ukraine.
WHERE TO GO? TOP FIVE OF THE MOST INTERESTING MUSEUMS OF MODERN ART IN EUROPE
Françoise Barbe-Gall teaches how to talk to children about art. She gives practical advices in her books, teaches to see things invisible to many people, to notice details and forget about labels. But we have to admit that among adults there are very few people who can boast with expertise in this area. If you want to change this order of things, today we offer you to go with us to the museums. Yes, it's a good idea, since we have chosen the best.
Murals: New Approach to Olden Art
Modern cities cannot be imagined without murals – large-scale in size works of picture art that decorate buildings. Not only we have gathered most outstanding works in our collection but also tried to learn as many interesting things as possible about this art movement.
Chinese Sugar Painting: Art From a Ladle
Flowers and trees, animals and birds, dragons and fairytale characters – to put it short, anything that may come to your head can turn into an object of edible art there. Amazing technique of painting with hot sugar is possessed by craftsmen from Sichuan province. Paintings performed in almost caramel can be neither “edited”, nor painted over.
AZULEJO: STORY OF TILES
You often got convinced that skilful hands of a master who puts life into his creation, can transform humble tree stump into a charming violin, piece of plaster becomes an ancient sculpture, and even clay tile looks like a work of fine art.
Divine mugham: the music of Azerbaijan
There is music which brings us back to life. It happens even if the tears are falling when one listens to it. The musical genre mugham talks to the audience using the right language. Everyone has lived out unhappy love, loss of a close person or ruin of ideals. These topics became the source of inspiration for the musicians of Azerbaijan movement mugham. OUTLOOK will tell about this unique style of music.
Artaud theatre: life is imitation of art
The power of gestures burns the text to ashes, sound deafens and takes to the abyss from which all of us come and where we return upon the accomplishment of a short time period called as the life. Attending the Theatre of Cruelty, a human appears in the centre of performance as there are everything we are hiding from in the everyday routine, particularly, freedom and isolation, life on the border, merging with the crows till self is lost and lonely residing at the top. The drama of being involves in its mineral resources, the echo of tragedy overwhelms publics and spectator without noticing it appears in the trap of the own perception. That is about the so-called ‘Theatre of Cruelty’ (theatre de cruaute), the child of French playwright and director, eccentric and shocking Antonen Artaud.
Fado: gentleness and deftness of Portuguese romances
Twelve-string guitar, the twilight of Portuguese nights, candles, and soul-gripping voice… Dramatic incentives of fado song tell about unrequited love. It cannot appear in the crossroads of destinies; however, it enables feelings to embody into the touching sounds of Portuguese romances.
In Kyiv the Embassies of Lithuania and Australia demonstrated the photo exhibition ‘Olegas Truchanas – legend of Lithuania and Australia’
The Embassy of Lithuanian Republic to Ukraine, the Embassy of Australia to Ukraine and National Museum of Taras Shevchenko represented in Kyiv the photo exhibition ‘Olegas Truchanas – legend of Lithuania and Australia’.
Close
Outlook facebook page