Lace - what to choose!
Over the last few years, lace just seems to have got more and more popular. I love working with lace as it's beautiful and there's so much you can do with it.
There are so many different kinds of lace, let alone the amount of designs for each type. I have hundreds of samples to look at, and that's only a small amount of what is out there.
So, where do you start if you know you want lace on your wedding dress but don't know what you want? I'd advise just taking a look at what's available and also setting yourself a budget.
The price of lace varies a lot. It's not so much the type or the design that influences the price, but what it's made from, i.e. silk, cotton or nylon, and of course the country of origin.
Well, here are a few examples of laces, and their names:
A very traditional delicate bobbin lace, with an allover pattern and a beautiful scallop. It drapes beautifully or can be layered over a sturdier fabric.
A heavier and more robust lace, finished with fine cording around the pattern. This kind of lace has a bolder pattern and shows up brilliantly in photo's. It's not really suitable for draping as it's a bit too stiff.
A machine made lace, a delicate tulle with bold repeat pattern. It's fine to medium weight and drapes nicely or can be layered well like the Chantilly lace.
Guipure lace doesn't have a net or tulle background, but instead it's held together by threads and fine lines of the design. Designs are often floral and can look quite vintage. It's a heavier lace but can still drape elegantly.
This is exactly what it says it is, a fine tulle that has been embroidered with a design. Designs vary from very heavy to very delicate, and also beaded or sequined. It hangs beautifully as it's so lightweight, however is more transparent so you need to think about what goes underneath.
Many laces come ready beaded, or sequined. It's a great way of getting an allover blingy kind of effect. They range from very subtle to very heavily decorated. They can get quite heavy if they're encrusted, but look stunning.
These come in all kinds of varieties but I couldn't fail to mention antique lace as I love it so much. They just seem to have a much more matt finish and the designs are amazing. Knowing that they have been made for special occasions I always want to know the history behind them. Good luck hunting some down though, it's getting harder all the time!
OK, so it's not strictly lace, but it's similar and it's lovely. Organza makes a great base to embroider a design on, and it has a different weight and feel to lace. It's stiffer, so is perfect for full skirts.
There's many types of 3D lace, often quite floral or leafy, as that type of design works well. It works well for a bodice or strap or small details, or if you're feeling flamboyant can work as an allover too.
This is only a very select range of samples, but I hope I've covered the basics and it's in some way helpful if you're trying to pick the style of wedding dress you want.
I have a few suppliers who I use regularly, and have folders of a few hundred designs, which cover a massive variety. I also have edgings and motifs for more engineered designs.