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Information and tutorials for folks interested in antique Italian lacework, nouveau fashion, sewing techniques and much much more!

Category Archive: Lace Trims & Ribbon

How to Make a Victorian Pomander


Remember to buy fragrant spices, whole cloves, oranges, and beauteous ribbons from Britex to make this old-fashioned treat. Truli is a talented jeweler, and craft-person. Here she presents a tutorial for making traditional clove-studded pomanders. She says, “The Victorians hung pomanders in their closets to ward off moths. Every Thanksgiving I make the spicy orange pomanders and come Christmas time they are dried and ready to be put out in a large festive bowl for my family and friends to take home as a thoughtful handcrafted gift and the rich spicy fragrance will last for years…. they are so simple to make it’s also a nice project to do with your children or a great activity for children to make in supervised groups too.” Their smell makes me think of holiday gatherings …..next to the scent of freshly waxed antique furniture or fir trees, these make me nostalgic for hot cider, sleigh rides, and uproarious groups of peeps playing board games until 2 am.

Posted: Lace Trims & Ribbon, Projects
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Alençon Lace Trim


Alençon lace or point d’Alençon lace was first made in France in the 16th century, and is renowned for its fine netting ground, corded outlined floral patterns, and heavenly detailing. Alençon lace is also called the “Queen of lace”, and is superlative to use as trim for wedding gowns and bridal veils. This 1 1/4″ wide imported French Alençon lace is an edging lace with a floral corded motif, netting background, and a shallow scalloped border. We offer it in both soft white and creamy ivory, and it costs $5.96/yard.

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Chantilly Lace


Britex has beauteous Chantilly lace. Chantilly lace was first made in France in the 17th century, and is renowned for its fine ground and scrumptious detail. Chantilly lace is a romantically delicate lace which is ideal for wedding and bridal use, including trim for gowns and veils. Here are two examples of Chantilly laces that live on our 3rd floor bridal department. The lace trim on the left is white, has fairly deep floral scalloped edges with light eyelashes, repeating center floral and leaf medallions, a lovely netting background, is 5” wide, $49.95/yard, and is made in France. The lace trim on the right is a winter-white, has very shallow scalloped edges with light eyelashes, a fine netting background with scattered leaves, a floral and swag border motif, is 6 1/2” wide, $49.95/yard, and is made in Italy. We also offer a mail order service and can ship to most countries. Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing this lace.

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Renaissance Garment and Britex Trim


Britex Fabrics brocade and ecclesiastical ribbons are ideal to ornament Renaissance garments. You could duplicate Cecilia Gallerani’s gown and cloak as shown in this portrait. Her cloak is called a sbernia and is made of trimmed silk. Her hair is gathered together inside a sheer silky bonnet with a border appearing under a ribbon that is level with her eyebrows. Her gown has a quadrangular neckline with golden trim. Britex can assist with all but the silky, sweet stout that Cecilia cradles in her arms.

Posted: Lace Trims & Ribbon, Sewing
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Silk Organza Frock – Britex Fabrics


This is a brilliant frock for cavorting in the cool waters of Trivali Fountain at 4am while singing “Dancing Queen”. The full skirt is created with exquisite imported Swiss silk fabric that is embroidered and appliquéd, then sprinkled with a scattering of clear crystals. The appliquéd fleurs are charmingly three-dimensional. This is a 2 7/8 yard piece, 54” wide, and costs $1,995 for the length. The bodice is made of a soft ivory silk Mikado which is 56” wide and $59.99 a yard. The waistline is enhanced with pliant double-faced black satin ribbon, and the choker is fashioned of a pair of beaded trim appliqués. The silk organza skirt is held beautifully aloft by 50 yards of 72” wide black nylon net.

Posted: Fabrics, Lace Trims & Ribbon
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Chantilly Lace Belt – Mary


Who could ever guess the amount of structure that goes into making this lacy waist-enhancing confection? Mary made this wide belt that is reminiscent of a waist cincher, of delicate French Chantilly lace. Beneath the lace, there are multiple layers of buckram, power net, silk chiffon, Swiss batiste, all fastened in the back with a leather buckle. (click photo to see a similar Chantilly lace trim)

Posted: By folks at Britex, Hand-Made with Britex Materials, Lace Trims & Ribbon
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Ribbon Rosette


Materials:
1. 2 yards glowingly hand-dyed silk ribbon
2. Needle and thread
3. Bobby pin, safety pin or hair band

Directions:
1. Gather the silk ribbon with a running stitch along the edge of the length.
2. Overlap the edges, making sure the raw edges are brought to the back of the circle
3. Hold the overlapped ribbon and tighten the gathers by pulling on the thread.
4. Style the “petals”, and secure with a few stitches.
5. Tack to your bobby pin, safety pin, or hair band. You now have a blooming sweet posy!

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Ecclesiastical Trim at Britex Online

Britex Fabrics’ online notions store is pleased to be able to offer you these stunning brocade ecclesiastical trims. Many of these beautiful ribbons are heavily accented with metallic gold embroidery, and several are imported from France. These ribbons add a unique touch to Renaissance, Medieval, and other fantasy garments. Of course, they are ideally suited for Christian church vestments and other liturgical uses.

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Glamorous Lace Ruff

Everyone needs a ruff! They are a stellar glamorous accessory that will dress up any outfit for a trip to the opera, or the latest avant-garde dance performance. Make sure that you use 100% cotton lace for ease in starching and ironing.

Materials:
1. 2-inch wide grosgrain ribbon same color as the lace – your neck circumference plus 2”
2. 2 1/2” – 4” wide edged lace (natural fiber) – 5 times the circumference of your neck
3. Needle and thread
4. Hook and eye
5. Heavy duty spray starch
6. Pencil & ruler

Directions (you will be making the most casual of cartridge pleats):
1. Starch your lace using heavy spray starch and an iron.
2. Mark un-edged side of lace every 1 inch.
3. Make a small stitch through 5 marked points, gather into pleats, and tack the pleats with a few stitches.
4. Pleat the rest of the lace in the same manner.
5. Divide each pleat so that 2 folds lay left & 2 folds lay right.
6. Line up the edges evenly and stitch, then sew the ruff to the grosgrain band.
7. Sew a hook and eye to fasten the ruff. Wear with romantic languishment.

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Bridal Veiling – Trimming and Preservation

Britex Fabrics loves romance and weddings. We have piles and piles of gossamer tulle, already attached to hair combs, for your bridal veiling desires. Our veils are available in over thirteen styles, in lengths ranging from 20” to 120” long, in single or double tiers, and with cut, beaded, pencil, corded, satin ribbon or sheer ribbon edges. Many brides customize their veils with one of our stunningly delicate French laces. Remember to carefully preserve your veil after your wedding, so that it can be passed down as a romantic heirloom.

  • Check for any slight tears, or missing pearls or sequins, and repair if needed.
  • Get your veil professionally dry-cleaned.
  • Store it in an acid-free box, and wrapped in acid-free tissue paper, cotton fabric, or neutral pH, unbuffered acid free tissue paper.
  • Store your boxes in a dry dark area. Do not store them in your basements or attic. Insects and mildew will destroy your heirloom items. Protect the boxes from dust with fabric, not plastic, as plastic encourages dampness.


(See the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute for additional conservation resources)

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