Berlin Work Parrot / Lacework
Design size - 5.5" x 4.5"    Stitched with silk.
Paper size - 20 stitches / inch

Canvas Lacework

Click for printable pdf version (1 MB)

Canvas Lacework, a technique for background filling patterns, was seen in Victorian needlework starting around  1850.  Canvas Lacework is a repeating patterned design intended to give texture to a piece by mimicking the appearance of lace.  Lacework patterns are most often seen on perforated paper, also called punched card, needlework.

There are two ways to achieve a lacework pattern:
- by stitching the pattern on the paper
- by carefully cutting away parts of the paper

Because they are fragile, many paper pieces with cut patterning did not survive.  Most surviving Canvas Lacework pieces have their filling patterns stitched, often with black silk or a dark color of thread.

These are original examples of Canvas Lacework, worked on perforated paper, from my collection.

Large Framed Cross

Design size 5.5 " x 10"
Paper size - 12 stitches / inch

This Lacework pattern has been achieved by carefully cutting away the perforated paper

This unusual cross has a large design area and intricate patterning.  This piece is in great condition for at least two reasons - this cross was framed when it was originally made and it was done on a larger size, and slightly heavier weight, of perforated paper.

Lacework Cross Bookmark
Design size 3.75" x 4". 
Paper size - 24 stitches / inch

This is a very typical example of a Lacework bible bookmark.  What makes this cross unusual is that the pattern was stitched with red silk.

Copyright 2009 Dutch Treat Designs
All rights reserved for images and
information by Claudia Dutcher.

Mourning Sampler circa 1873

Lacework mourning sampler with stitched pattern in black silk.

Design size - 10" x 16.5"
Paper size - 15 stitches / inch

This sampler came from the UK.  It is the only large piece I have seen using Canvas Lacework patterns to define a background.

What you see in this piece, the effect of lace, is a great example of what the technique was intended to do.