Embellishing Linens and Denims with Lace

Embellishing Linens and Denims with Lace
Whether sewing entredeux as a lace insertion to embellish a blouse or gathered as flounce that peeks out from a skirt hem to covering a plain denim pillow all can provide for an instant pleasant spring update.

Linen comes from the flax or linseed plant whose long interior fibers can be made into linen yarn then woven. Linen fabric allows for air to flow through the woven fibers making the fabric conduct heat away from the body, is exceptionally strong and durable, and eco-friendly too as it is a renewable resource. Woven and twisted linen fibers have been found in human inhabited caves and date back to many thousands of years. Truly a fiber for the ages.

Denim, a more modern fabric type is woven into a mostly rugged cotton twill cloth. Traditionally the warp (lengthwise) threads of denim fabric are dyed indigo blue whereas the weft (transverse) threads are white, giving the fabric its conventional blue color on one side and overall lightness on the other.

The many types of lace have an early (16th century) and modern history as well. As an ornamental open-weave web of seemingly delicate fibers, often made of linen or silk in times past or of contemporary cotton, the subtle illusion of needle (single thread) lace or bobbin (multiple threads) lace evoke a frailty that belies its decorative utility. Antique linen hankies from another era were usually edged in lace and can be seen in painted portraits in the hands of both men and women. Lace and linens are often seen nowadays as a home design trend. Today most all lace, of all kinds, are machine made making them more cost effect than the elaborate hand-crafted lace of old.

Consider adding lace to linens and denims:

Lace can take the place of the back or front yokes of a blouse. Lace can easily be inserted into the sleeve treatment of a fine linen blouse taking it from an unadorned shirt to one of simple elegance. Linen pillow shams edged with lace have a pensive romantic look. The use of lace of course is synonymous with today’s bridal gowns and evening dresses, babies baptismal or christening gowns, edging dresser scarves, decorative doilies and at times used as embellishment for a flower corsage or hair ornament. What was once a coveted source of trade for those of nobility in medieval times is today abundant and universally available.

When paired with denim, lace provides an instant cottage quality unmatched by other fabric opposite pairings such as wool and silk, cotton or velvet and leather, suede and knits. Lace added to a plain denim jacket at the collar or yokes or sleeve edges, peaking out of the hem edges of a denim skirt or even used as patches on deliberate holey jeans promptly adds a boutique casual chic look. Lacy patch pockets added to a denim shirt, as a side insert on denim shorts, or lacy motifs cut out and appliqued to a denim tote or throw pillow are just a few of the many ways lace and denim go together well.

For sewing inspiration in merging lace with linen or denim fabrics:

Lace Embellishment Ideas found on Pinterest.com

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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