Different ways of making picots and which laces traditionally have picots.


Picots which are like rabbits’ ears.  Not sure whether anyone can explain in writing how I can do better?  I do 4 twists, make a loop in the outside thread with the pin, put a loop from the inside thread on the pin, 4 twists and pull it up, but the two loops never seem to twist around each other and they separate once the pin is removed.  And, when you have quite a few pairs (like say 6) between the picots and the gimp, should you cloth stitch through them all or just pass them in one bundle between the workers?

A.     I twist five times before putting the pin in and the pairs around as you describe, then two or three twists afterwards.  The trick with picots is to avoid pulling one thread tight around the pin by itself…..you need to develop a technique of pulling the two threads together as you tighten them both around the pin.
A.  Advice about leaving the threads loose and pulling them together and being careful with the pins has made a big difference too.
A.  For six pairs of passives, I’d just work through them…..  “Bundling” usually involves working through the first pair after the gimp in whole stitch, then passing all except the last pair of passives through the workers, before working through the last pair before the picot…..hardly seems worth it for a small number.  And, personally, I’ve never for the life of me been able to make bundling look as neat and tight as working through them anyway….I know others do it, but it just doesn’t seem to work for me!!

A.  One of my Bridget Cook books suggests 5 twists before the picot and 3 afterwards.  It does also suggest that when you have a large number of passives you can pass them through in one bundle but the book doesn’t give a recommended number of pairs for doing this, so that’s probably a matter of judgement depending on the piece.

A.  Picots from a Beds book, which are made the same as Bucks ones (Beds lacemakers were Bucks lacemakers before the 1851 Great Exhibition, where the lace folks saw the Maltese and Honiton lace, and made their workers change to the “new” lace!)
At the headside, you must work cloth st through all the prs.

A.  Let me try a little harder.  If the picot is to be on the left side, then twist the pair 5 times, then take the outside bobbin around the pin clockwise and the inside bobbin  around it anti-clockwise, the do 2 more twists and spread the bobbins sideways which helps ensure the twists are tight.  That should do it.  If the picot’s on the right side then reverse the clockwise bit.  That’s all.  One other tip – if you’re working with very fine threads as I do, then always use a pin pusher when removing the pins.  I’ve had pins break perfectly good picots through rough removal!!  In the Chantilly cloth I’m working on now there are often about 16 pairs of passives to be worked through.  I found that with the fine Pipers 2/20 silk I was often breaking threads tensioning these passives.  So I began bundling and it works a treat.  I always work whole stitch through the first and last 2 pairs plus another pair about half way.  Works for me

A question: Is a picot traditionally part of torchon lacemaking or is it more a tradition of Bucks, Bedfordshire, Withof etc.

It is not really a part of Torchon but it is a part of ‘s Gravensmoere which is a type of Torchon. mainly found in Bucks Beds etc

It certainly is part of traditional Le Puy lace, which is really a lot of torchon lace with plaits.