Discover Types Of Lace In The Fashion Industry

Lace is one of the most desirable details in clothing that varies from person to person. Some people prefer types of lace with an elegant appearance. In comparison, others may find varieties of lace more casual and look appealing. 

In other cases, the type of clothing it will be used for determines what kind of lace should be chosen. For example, if you are looking for lace on your blouse, you should consider using a delicate and feminine style. Or, if you want to use it as trim on your sweater, a sturdy and durable kind would work best. 

The type you choose also depends on how much money you have available because there are types that can range anywhere from being extremely expensive down to be relatively cheap. The lace type you choose also depends on the look and feel of your clothes.

If you are passionate about lace types and want to learn about them, follow our article. We hope you can find some helpful information.

Type Of Lace: Overview 

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What is lace?

Lace is a flimsy fabric made of thread or yarn in an open net shape. It is created by manual or machine with two main types ( bobbin lace and needle lace). Besides, there are a few lace categories (crocheted or knitted lace).

Lace is a type of textile ornamentation and garment trimming made by hand with needle and thread. It can be an expensive, time-consuming hobby to learn how to make lace. The work that goes into making lace can take months or even years before it is finished. 

People used gold, silver, silk, or linen threads to produce lace in the first period. Nowadays, we can find cotton, rayon, or synthetic lace. Instead of lines, some modern craftsmen make lace with fine silver or copper wires.

When did lace appear?

This fabric has been around for centuries, even dating back to ancient Rome in the 2nd century AD. 

Lace was once primarily used as a clothing decoration for fancy dresses, but over the years, it has evolved into something more practical, like curtain trimmings and bed sheet edging. 

But while there are many different types of laces out there nowadays, some people still keep up the tradition of learning how to make their own type from scratch. 

How many types of lace do we have?

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There are different types of laces, such as the flat type and the needle type. 

The type made with needle and thread is often referred to as bridal lace because it is so delicate and detailed. This type usually has a floral pattern and can be used for bedding edging, curtains, and tablecloths. 

Making this type of lace takes a long time, so if you plan on learning how to make it yourself, maybe start with something smaller first. 

Flat-type laces have more simple patterns and would be easier to do as a first lace project.

How To Make Lace

We can see four ways to create lace; you may refer to them and learn about how to make it, including.

Bobbin lace

Tailors utilize pins, bobbins, and fine threads to make lace. This way to sew is traditional with some materials such as silk, cotton, and linen. However, you can pick others to make this lace type.


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Crochet is not considered the way to sew lace technically. Even so, crochet can create fabric patterns like lace.

Irish crocheted lace is the most popular lace type. This lace is an existing handmade lace until nowadays.

Crotcheted lace is pretty heavy compared to other types of lace. It owns a beautiful natural organic appearance.

Some tailors make it with the machine and cotton fibers. Thus, the crocheted lace is easy to dye with vivid colors to match every outfit.

Needle lace

To sew needle lace, we can use a needle to hand embroidery.

Shuttle lace (Tatting lace)

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The tatting lace sewing technique utilizes a shuttle created by knots and loops. Hence, the tatting lace is relatively durable.

Shuttle lace is a knotted form lace made of special cotton. Artisans knot cotton fibers to create knots’ weft and warp by using a shuttle.

You can use tatting lace for collars, pillow slips, and edging hankies.

For What Purpose Can I Use Lace?

You can use lace for some applications, including.

  • Casual clothes.
  • Eveningwear.
  • Wedding dress.
  • Tablecloths.
  • Curtains.
  • Clergy items.

Tailors and designers often use lace for the whole garment or a border, an insertion, or an appliqued detail for outfits.

Entire garment

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If you want to sew a garment from lace, you should consider a suitable pattern and design direction.

You have to plan to prepare enough lace for all motifs. The majority of laces are one way, so that you may need more lace than the amount of fabric on the sketch. Besides, you also need to determine motifs’ positions on the clothing precisely.

Lace for border

If you have lace with a scalloped finish on edge, it will be ideal for making borders on your outfits. You can sew on the standard way or your own creative style anywhere on the garment.

Lace for insertion

If your favorite lace is not enough or has a reasonable price for a whole garment, you can use it to insert.

Insertion lace includes two straight borders; tailors often sew it between two pieces of cloth. Decorative stitches may attach the insertion lace to create amazing effects. Sometimes, you can utilize two pieces of insertion lace to pair together to get a more comprehensive lace sheet.

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Appliqued detail

The pre-cut lace is a good suggestion but if you buy a lace that you like very much, let’s cut around it to make a unique pattern. Then, appliqué on the garment as a trim.

Lace appliqué is lovely when it appears in outfits. It is made of cotton or nylon. Lace appliqué motifs are single items, so they are relatively cheap to garments.

What Patterns Does Lace Have?

After learning how to make and the purpose of using lace, I think you will want to know what lace has patterns. Now, there are many lace patterns that you can pick; however, we can only introduce a few outstanding ones. You can follow this part according to some criteria, including.


Chantilly lace

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Chantilly lace is elegant and delicate. It has outlined and sewn flowers with faux silk or authentic silk. The original Chantilly lace is black with exquisite scalloped borders. Meanwhile, the modern Chantilly has a range of various colors.

French embroidered lace (Alencon)

Alencon is sewn on the net. It includes embossed patterns and is outlined with cords and beads. This lace is more definition than some types due to outlined silk wire notifs.

Authentic French embroidered lace always has a width of 36 inches. Let’s check this spec while buying this lace.

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Venetian lace (Venise lace)

Venise is a delicate lace, which is not made on a net. In the last processing, artisans disintegrate the cloth. Then, they stitch the embroidery onto it. Thus, the geometric and floral will be outstanding.

Next, tailors use silky strands to connect lace with each other. Its other name is Guipure (lace has no mesh).

Manual Venetian lace is too expensive, so people often choose the Venise lace made by the machine due to its more affordable price.

Swiss Entredeux

Swiss Entredeux is made of a soft fine cotton – cotton Batiste. This lace is a fabric strip with a similar shape to a ladder. It has evenly spaced holes along the fabric strip. Tailors sew the lace strip between fabric and lace with a ribbon woven via the holes.

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Broderie Anglaise

You can buy Broderie Anglaise with lace; however, it is not entirely lace. Tailors use some techniques such as cut-outs in a  piece of cotton or fine strip, embroidery, and eyelets.

Broderie Anglaise is an embroidered fabric form with white or light colors.

Battenburg lace

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You can call it by other names, including ‘Milanese lace’ or ‘tape lace.’ Tailors use bobbins and tape, then machining around to create new lace.

The Battenburg lace’s first version was made with only one buttonhole picot stitch.

Bruges Duchess lace

If you are looking for lace for both clothing and veils, you should choose Bruges Duchess lace. It is a fine white lace category, which is made of cotton. Artisans create it in pieces and join them together.

Bruges Duchess lace has two types.

  • The finer flower-work type is for outfits and veils.
  • The rough type is to decorate interior decorations.

You can wash this lace type with bleach at high temperatures and not worry about losing form.

Tailors assemble Bruges flower lace from delicate leaves, open flowers, and long scrolls. Bruges Duchess lace often appears at formal places (ex. church).

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Cluny lace

Cluny lace is made of cotton by using a bobbin. You can find it easily in England and France. It is relatively coarser than other lace types. You can use it for interiors and garments.

Lyon lace

It is a cotton lace woven on looms. It has appeared since the 18th century.

Torchon lace

Tailors use bobbins in strips to create this lace. The strips’ width is 1 – 2 inches. It is pretty simple to learn if you are a beginner.


Elastic lace

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This lace type is excellent for lingerie. Elastic lace is very soft and complex to be scratched. It has various widths, and you can utilize it to decorate for waists or legs or whole underwear.

Nylon lace

Nylon lace is popular due to being made of synthetic material, so it is affordable. This lace type may have a scalloped or straight edge with a nice and elegant look.

Cotton lace

If you want a softer lace, you can choose cotton lace. Cotton lace can hug the body without annoyance.

Chemical lace (Imitation lace)

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It has another name of Schiffli lace. It is typically an embroidered net made of manufactured synthetic material. Artisans use a unique fiber to embroider the lace motifs. Then, it is disintegrated to expose the design.

Instead of chemicals, some advanced factories utilize hot water to disintegrate. You can identify imitation lace by checking the edges. They may have a fluffy look or be slightly fuzzy.


Tassel lace trim.

This lace type has tassels on edge. You can use it for clothing or cushions.

Ribbon pass lace

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People usually use a ribbon to pass through this lace type. It has both the same edges and evenly spaced holes with lace to thread the ribbon.

Beaded lace trim

The lace trim’s edge has beads. Artisans insert the lace between two sheets of fabric. The beads will make the effect like we embroidery them onto the textile.

This lace trim has beads on the edge.  The lace is inserted between two pieces of fabric, and the effect is the beads look as if they are embroidered onto the textile.

Smocked lace

Smocked lace is a creative lace. It decorates your clothes with smocking rows. You may add smocked lace as a quick alternative method while covering lace on the outfits.

Ric Rac lace

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If you like zigzag patterns, Ric Rac lace is for you. Designers insert this lace type into their garments to create accent points.

Ric Rac lace is made of silk, cotton, or metallic materials to make cheerful details. Ric Rac lace maybe lace or ribbon.

Created by sewing and embroidery technique

Embroidered net lace (All-over design)

Artisans use machine embroidery to create this lace on a net background.

Edging lace

We can use edging lace to decorate one scalloped side, and the other is straight. 

Usually, artisans pull up a thread on the straight side to make gathers.

French edging lace belongs to this type. It has holes to thread ribbons along it. Flounce is the edging lace’s another variation and very broad.

Gathered lace

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Gathered lace has the gathered lace trim at the top edge. You can sew this lace to the garment’s edge to make frilled effects.

Corded lace

You can utilize a soutache cord to create lace with a three-dimensional design.

Filet lace

Filet lace fabric’s base is a knotted net; next, using a needle to stitch a linen fabric on that base.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Types Of Lace

If you want to earn more about types of lace, you can read the below part. Frequently asked questions about lace may be helpful to you.

How will the type of fabric affect the kind of lace that is needed?

It is essential to know what fabric the dress will be made out of when choosing lace type. 

If the fabric is delicate, a softer type of lace should be used to avoid too much bulk or excess weight on the garment. 

If the fabric is sturdy and thick, a thicker type of lace will work well with this material. Another thing to keep in mind when selecting which type of lace is that some are only appropriate for specific occasions. 

For example, if you are looking for something that will go with an elegant gown at a black-tie event, then French Alencon lace might be perfect because it has just enough detail without being too dramatic or showy. 

However, if you are trying to find something for a more casual type of dress, say something you would wear at a beachside wedding, look to some kind of very light and airy type of lace such as guipure lace.

What types of lace should I use for the wedding dresses?

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Wedding is one of the most important events in our life, especially brides, so they prepare everything carefully for this special occasion. Brides will choose the most beautiful wedding dresses with lovely lace motifs to wear at their weddings.

Therefore, if you are about to enter the assembly hall, you should know some lace patterns for bridalwear to become the best stand-out at your wedding party.

  • Alencon lace: It often has floral details on a net or sheer background.
  • Venetian lace (or Guipure lace): It is a stiff lace with no net background. A range of close embroidered stitches create motifs on a smooth fabric, and they will almost disappear in the complete product.
  • Embroidered lace: Tightly stitch stitched delicate patterns are on a base to make an illusion like an appliqued dress.
  • Chantilly lace: This lace type brings to you rich details and outline patterns on a fine fabric background. It has cordonnet outlined motifs, which is a flat untwisted fiber type.
  • Knit lace: It is a soft lace without a tulle back. Thus, it will be more flexible. Its contours around the body make your movement easier.
  • Brocade: It is a shuttle-woven fabric with rich decorative motifs. Artisans use colored silks to make it. It has no gold and silver fibers.
  • Eyelet lace: It is made of lightweight fabric with small holes to pierce through them and finish with stitching, and its patterns look like flowers.

Do we have lace vocabulary?

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When starting to learn about lace, you should remember some terms.

  • Ground

The ground is the net or mesh that fills the lace’s spaces to create the lace fabric’s base.

Each lace type has a different ground, which is constructed in various methods.

  • Motifs

Motifs are individual designs. Artisans will put them in the background.

  • Ajours 

Ajours are ornamental laceworks. You will use lace motifs’ enclosed zones.

  • Réseau

This is the net background that fills up different laces’ open spaces.


You can call it ‘bridges’ or ‘bars.’ They can connect threads between patterns.

  • Cordonnet

Tailors utilize it to outline motifs in a series of lace styles.

  • Picots

Picots are the mini loops that walk along the lace’s edges.

Is there any note when sewing different types of lace?

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The lace is a sheer fabric with widely-spaced threads, so you have to use the stitch with a smaller length than usual to sew it.

You also need to sew a few remnants to ensure the stitch is exact for the lace.

When solving cheaper lace, you can sew a simple narrow seam. However, you should not do that for Chantilly or Alençon lace. Appliqueing the seams is essential to make them invisible and identify motif positions carefully.

If you have to make hemming lace, many kinds of lace include a scalloped edge, which makes a hem unimportant. You should sew a simple scrolling border on finer lace styles if you handle lace without scalloped edges.

Creating something fun is a good idea. You can melt two layers of latex PVC, then clamp lace between them to get a waterproof lace.

Let’s remember that the high temper can melt synthetic laces and scorch natural fibers, so you have to check your dry iron before pressing your lace design. 


Deciding the types of lace for many garments may be difficult. If you are unsure which style to use for your garment, look at the type of fabric available or what type will work best with your design motif. You want something lightweight, soft, and flexible not to irritate people who wear them often. 

Silk laces are perfect because they do not fade quickly, but if you prefer an eco-friendly option, jute may also be good for you. 

The type of lace that is most popular right now? Tulles! They are easy to find online through Etsy or other sites where designers sell their handmade products. So whether you just need one yard or enough material to make dozens of garments, you will be able to find exactly what type of lace you need.

After reading this article, we believe that you can create unique fashion designs with lace. Although it is a material that is difficult to machine with, lace will bring amazing effects to your outfits if you know how to work with it.

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