Textiles is a generic term for fabrics made by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting or felting. What possibilities are open to craftspeople who work with textiles?
Needle lace or point lace is a type of lace created using a needle and thread. The outline of the design is couched over the lines of a paper pattern and filled with different stitches and specific lacemaking techniques. The paper is then removed: the new piece of lace can hold its shape without this support. Many small pieces are joined to create a large piece of point lace.
Pillow or Bobbin Lace
Pillow or bobbin lace is made by weaving a great many fine parallel threads in various ways. The threads are wound round bobbins which lie flat beside one another; there may actually be hundreds of them. The lace is made on a paper pattern on a soft base. The detailed patterns are made using pins that are pricked into the paper.
Tapestry or Gobelin Weaving
There are many different techniques for weaving images. Large tapestries made in the west were woven on vertical looms holding the warp, a set of tensioned threads of one colour. Parallel threads at right angles – the weft-threads – are laid in one by one. The weft, put in by hand, creates the design. A pattern known as a cartoon placed immediately behind the warp showed precisely where each colour had to be woven in. Several weavers sat side by side to weave a wide tapestry.
Macramé is often associated with plant holders in trendy sixties interiors. In fact it is a centuries-old technique – somewhat similar to bobbin lace – where thick parallel cords or ropes are knotted together in a wide variety of ways. The result can be made into a simple string bag or plant hanger, but also into an intricate but usually symmetrical wall hanging.