Repair Torn Lace

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion Q & A' started by Elaine Higgins, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Elaine Higgins Registered Guest

    I am attempting to restore vintage wedding dresses. I have years of sewing experience, but I haven't done much lace repair. Does anyone know any good techniques or possibly some books or anything on the subject?

    Thanks
  2. catwalkcreative Trade Member

    Sorry Elaine, I can't help you with this but will bump it up. Perhaps one of our other members can help. :)
  3. Vinclothes Trade Member

    I am no specialist on lace or its repair, but I have had passable results by laying a piece of matching or similar lace behind a hole and stitching it in with tiny hidden stitches, then trim on both sides as needed. Sometimes lace just has to be replaced.
    The propriet0r of:
    http://www.lacis.com/
    once told me that laces from some times periods just disintegrated. She said to preserve 1950's wedding dresses with lace she had to line them with crepeline. I think a lot will depend upon your purpose - for resale or for preservation. If you can post an image of what you are up against it would be helpful. The people at Lacis, that vintage lace and findings wonderland, may be of help.
    Marian
  4. Circa Vintage Registered Guest

    I agree with Marian that some laces just disintegrate - most '30s laces are very fragile and often too far gone to repair properly. A lot of nylon '50s-60s laces are very fragile too. I've spent many hours repairing lace dresses only to find that the more I mend, the more holes I find so I try not to embark on major restorations now unless it's really special.

    I use a fine thread the same colour and gently stitch the pieces together. It's all about how strong the lace is - and different laces require different approaches. It's a delicate fabric, almost an absence of fabric but if they haven't been stored or cleaned properly it's an uphill battle. If you were in Melbourne, I could do some tutorials on how I do it but it's hard to describe online, especially without images.
  5. vintagebaubles Trade Member

    I agree with Nicole. And it also depends on what kind of repair issue you're dealing with. If all the original fabric is present, but has split, you can do as Nicole notes above. Depending on how strong the lace is and how heavy or if it's a re-embroidered lace, that type of repair can actually be very simple and easy to do. If the lace is very fine, you might have to split the thread and use a couple filaments rather than the entire twist of thread (I find that part of it harder and more time consuming than doing the repair itself!).

    If there are actually chunks of lace missing, then Marian's method can give good results.

    So, the "real" answer is, I guess--"It depends." If you have photos of the typical sorts of areas you're talking about, perhaps someone can be more exacting.

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