Salex Illustrated Dictionary of Lacemaking


Alexandra Stillwell has a reputation, as far as I’m concerned, for producing extremely good, clear and well researched books.    And this is another one in the same mould as her previous ones.   A paper back of 257 pages – my only fear is that the cover should’ve been more sturdy because I can see this book getting a lot of use.

It is, as the title says, a dictionary, with entries covering techniques, types of laces, equipment, alternative names for techniques and cross references to the alternatives.   There are lots of line drawings and every entry is classified as to what type of lace uses this name or technique.   For instance:   Antwerp edge is a needlelace technique, as is grommet…bullion lace is a bobbin lace technique and so on.   There are explanations and diagrams covering all sorts of topics, such as how to work Alencon ground, measure the angle of grid for Bucks point, how to use a lucet, even an explanation of the term “gardening” in lace – which I’d always thought of as a phrase coined by a few Australians, but apparently not.

This is not the type of book you sit down and read from cover to cover…. it should be left by your favourite chair, so that when you sit down with a cuppa, you can just pick it up and browse.   And I’d guarantee that even experienced lacemakers will learn something from every “dip” into it.

All I can say is “fantastic” and well worth buying.

It can be ordered direct from Alex – the easiest and cheapest way to pay from Australia is to use Paypal.   Depending on the rate of exchange on the day, the book, including airmail postage to Australia, will cost around $70 – $75.   Of course, if you can contain your impatience, having it sent seamail will make it less expensive, but I’m not known for my patience!

Illustrated Dictionary