The second of the doilies from my great aunt is this needlelace doily. It is in excellent condition, so much so that I wonder if it is not actually very old. It measures 14cm (5.5 inches) in diameter, so it isn’t very large. The thread is quite thick, so the appearance it quite heavy, rather than delicate.
It is probably a particular type of needlelace, but as I am not very au fait with these things, to me it is just needlelace!
I would say that this was constructed on a paper or cardboard base, with the foundation threads tacked in place. The thick plaited loopy bit was probably also tacked in place, and then the buttonholed bars were probably worked between to stabilise it.
At what point the centre flower would have been done, I am not sure. The petals are worked in what Therese de Dillmont’s “The Completely Encyclopedia of Needlework” imaginatively describes as “second lace stitch”! Country Bumkpin’s “A-Z of Whitework, Book 1″ calls it “net stitch – double”. I feel sure there are more specific names for this stitch. Maybe if I knew the correct name for this style of lace, I could find out the correct name for the stitch!
Regardless of its name, it is a type of buttonhole stitch, where there is a repetition of two tight buttonholes (creating the solid section), then a longer buttonhole (which creates the open section). In the next row, the two tight buttonholes are worked onto the loop of the long buttonhole.
It appears that two thicknesses of thread were used. A thicker one for most of it, and a thinner one for all the buttonholed bars and buttonholed edges.
This doily was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. It is beautifully worked, obviously by a skilled needleworker. If anyone can identify the style of lace (if is has a proper name) or the buttonhole filling stitch, I’d be really interested to hear!