Guido al Ricarno Reticella Liberty

Guida al Ricamo Reticello Liberty by Laura Marzorati. 2nd edition 2012, first published 2008, Il Castello, Milan. No ISBN. In Italian. 80 pp, soft cover, 22 euros from Barbara Fay.

As a student of Margaret Stephens (reticella and aemelia ars, and a compromise version) I was attracted by this book which is also available in the ALG (NSW Branch) library. The cover features  a complex reticella pattern including many fillings I hadn’t seen before. Unfortunately I don’t read Italian and a brief internet search didn’t turn up a definition of Liberty reticella as opposed to simpler forms. It seems that the fillings are more opulent – one might almost say “over the top”

The book starts from the basics of preparing the grid by removal of threads, four-sided stitch, satin stitch and wrapping. This is well-illustrated, but you can have it in English, with excellent illustrations, from Margaret Stephens’s book  A Guide to Embroidered Lace which I would recommend if you are new to the technique.  Even better, do a workshop with Margaret!

Guida al Ricamo Liberty continues with instructions and step-by-step photographs for a dozen of the fillings, including one based on an elongated rectangle rather than the usual square. It then gives a couple of examples with patterns for complex grids and their fillings, and finally, photographs of some completed projects. Several of these are worked in larger spaces, not necessarily square or rectangular. The Italian text may give some idea of the process for making these, but no detailed illustrated instructions are given.