Suffolk Lace and the Lacemakers of Eye
by Nicky Howener-Townsend.
For some time Nicky had wondered about Suffolk’s (an English county) past lace history. A couple of random references had not cast much light on the subject, until by chance one day she acquired a picture postcard of a 90 year old Suffolk lacemaker. This, coupled with an article in the newsletter of the Suffolk Lacemakers, led Nicky into a search for the origins of lacemaking in Suffolk.
Nicky has discovered that the earliest written evidence of a lace industry centred in Eye in 1673 – the industry itself predates that. She has documented the finding of bobbins (all of a similar style, and all very similar to one of the bobbins found in the wreck of the Batavia) in various buildings under renovation around Eye and nearby villages. There’s information about various people involved in lacemaking – she even discovered that she herself had lived in a flat in what had been the house of a lace dealer in Ipswich!
A collection of Suffolk Lace is held in the V&A Museum and Nicky has redrawn and reworked these patterns. They are mostly a geometric style of Bucks (which would make some of the patterns suitable for a Bucks Stage 1 proficiency) and 39 of these patterns are included in the book.
I found the book very interesting – not only from a lace history point of view, but also to see how Nicky has been able to follow various clues to start putting the whole story of Suffolk lace together.
This is an A4 paperback of 119 pages, and costs 18 Pounds Stg per copy. Postage for a single copy to Australia is 8 Pounds – however, there are economies in postage if you order three copies, as I did. My copy ended up costing me $47.
You can order direct from Nicky by emailing her at bob.bins at btinternet dot com and paying by PayPal