HOW TO MAKE BATTENBERG AND POINT LACE - SELECTION OF MATERIALS.
THE same rules and instruction apply to Battenberg and modern point lace. The latter, being much the finer and more delicate, requires more time and patience. Both deserve equal care.
BRAID AND THREAD.
The pattern being chosen, select a smooth linen braid. Great care should be taken to avoid getting a cotton braid. The beauty and value of many a piece of Battenberg lace has been lessened because it was made with cotton braid.
The working thread, as well as all other parts of the work, should always be linen. There are various lace threads that are good, and each has its friends. Some of the threads that are so slightly twisted as to resemble floss are good for the filling of rings, and, when a soft, indefinite effect is desired, is the right thing for their covering of buttonhole stitch or crochet. When it is desired to have each thread in the covering of the ring stand out distinctly, thread more tightly twisted should be used. For over-casting the braid, Nos. 70 or 80 may be used, while for the filling-in stitches, Nos. 40 to 60 should be selected, according to the degree of fineness desired in the work. The narrow braid calls for a finer thread than the wider braid requires. None of the cotton threads should be used for any part of the permanent work. To avoid knots and tangles in the working thread, the needle should always be threaded from the right end of the thread, and before working the thread should be drawn through the thumb and finger of the left hand to lessen its liability to twist and tangle.
For needle point lace the best thread is the "Petit Moulin" linen lace thread, manufactured for the purpose in France. This thread may be had in numbers from 30 to 1500. For the very finest lace, Nos. 1000 to 1500 should be used, while for doilies and handkerchiefs it is advisable to use a slightly heavier thread. Nos. 600 to 1000 are good. In making Honiton and princess lace, Nos. 400 to 600 are most effective. The coarser threads are excellent for Battenberg lace.
This thread comes in balls, varying in size from the tiny ball of No. 1500 to the large ball, of No. 30. Around the outside is pasted a ring of stiff paper, which serves as a protector for the thread, and keeps it free from soil. This paper should not be removed, but the thread should be used from the centre of the ball. On one side of the ball is a thread passing across from the centre to the circumference. By pulling this thread an end is discovered, and the ball unwinds from the inside in the fashion of most balls of thread and twine. It is advisable to put the ball into a little box, through a puncture in the lid of which the thread may be draw-n without risk of soil or injury. Thread bags of various kinds may be used instead of the box.
Very excellent rings may be bought ready for use, but many ladies prefer to make them. For their use a very handy little ring gauge has been invented, and is shown in miniature in Fig. 1.
This provides for the making of rings in six different sizes, and permits of their being made of any thickness desired. The thread or floss is wound around the chosen section of the ring gauge a sufficient number of times, perhaps twenty, to make the ring of the necessary thickness. The thread or floss should be loose enough to allow of its being overcast. To do this, thread a needle and pass it repeatedly around the roll of threads by pushing the needle between the threads and the ring gauge. When it is closely overcast, push the thread ring carefully off the ring gauge without marring its circular shape. To do this successfully, give it a series of little pushes with the thumb around and around its circumference until it slips off. It is now a ring of threads held in place by the over-casting thread which is coiled around it....