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Battenburg Lace


Lace designs have always been popular here at Urban Threads, and we’re excited to introduce a new kind of lace called Battenburg. Battenburg lace is digitized differently than our traditional lace designs, and it uses cotton thread instead of synthetic thread to create its structure. The cotton thread gives this lace a much softer, more flexible feel. Being us, of course, we couldn’t help but mix up the traditional formula a bit, and combined it with some cool satin textures to really make some lace that pops as a super cool bookmark. We’ll show you just what you need to stitch this new kind of lace.

To make your new lace bookmark, you’ll need:

  • Cotton sewing or embroidery thread. (we’re using 50 weight Coats and Clark sewing thread)
  • Nevermore Bookmark (Lace) embroidery design
  • Heavy water soluble stabilizer (we use Sulky Ultra Solvy)
  • Scissors
  • Paper towels

First, let’s talk thread. Battenburg lace must always be stitched with cotton thread in order to hold its special structure. 40 weight rayon or polyester thread will NOT hold up those delicate Battenburg stitches. You want either 50 weight 100% cotton sewing thread or 30 weight cotton thread. You can also use it with thread labeled “cotton embroidery thread.”

Why aren’t we using the “embroidery” thread? Just a matter of preference. Both the heavier 30 weight or the embroidery thread will both create slightly thicker designs. They’ll still work just fine though, so feel free to experiment and see which one you like best.

 

So, start by hooping up a piece of water soluble stabilizer.


Because this is lace, we’ll want matching wound bobbins. For this design, I strongly recommend winding matching cotton bobbins, but as a rule battenburg can be stitched with traditional bobbin thread for an even lighter feel. This just means that unless the lace you use is the color of the bobbin thread, you won’t want to show the back.


 

Once your stabilizer it hooped up and your bookmark design is loaded, set you machine stitching.


As this is a two-color lace design, when your machine gets to a stop, remember to not only change the top color but also give it a new, matching cotton bobbin.


 

Once you’ve changed your bobbin to match your next color, set your machine sewing again until all the details are done. You can see this is a bit of a mix of traditional and Batternburg techniques, as we added a thicker, more dimensional raven and text as part of the design.

Mostly because we can’t seem to do anything without bending a few rules.


When your design is finished, un-hoop it and carefully trim away most of the excess stabilizer around your bookmark, but don’t get too close to your lace! It would be a shame to chop it up after all that stitching.


 

Soak your lace according to your stabilizer package directions until all the stabilizer is dissolved.


Pat it dry with a few paper towels, and try to keep it flat as it dries out.


 

And now you have yourself a gorgeous and slightly gothic new lace bookmark, celebrating one of our favorite authors.

That and we just adore ravens.


The lightweight Battenburg lace means your bookmark is much softer and lighter than traditional lace, and will sit between your pages with ease.

Battenburg is a fun twist on machine embroidered lace, you can bet we’re going to use this to create all kinds of new, softer lace goodies.


Loving the lace? Urban Threads has lots more enchanting freestanding lace designs to try, like this adorable jointed lace bunny. If you're new to lace, you might find it handy to check out our basic lace instructions. A few quick tips for success: use a heavy water-soluble stabilizer (we use Sulky Ultra Solvy, which feels like a thick sheet plastic), hoop the stabilizer tightly so it's taut like a drum but not stretched, and only stitch one piece of lace per hooping. For more tips, check out this article from Embroidery Library, which compares different water-soluble stabilizers and shares some hooping tips. Happy lacemaking!

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