Saturday, August 13, 2011

I call it Netting - others call it Modano Lace?

This week I received an email from a friend on the other side of the country.  She sent me a link to an article written many years ago by her mother.  The article, about 9 pages into the May 1980 issue of International Old Lacers (page 92 in the actual paper copy), was titled Modano Lace and was by Bertha Cragun of Washington. Judging by the drawings that accompany her description of how to start the center of a doily as well as the text of her explanation, I would say she is talking about the type of netting my grandmother taught me. She also tells how to create a tool holder for needles, mesh sticks, and other tools.

I had never heard of Modano Lace.  So I did what any internet user would do - I Googled the phrase.  Once I got rid of the dinnerware and the hockey players, I found another issue of the International Old Lacers, this time from January 1980.   About 12 pages into the file, or page 52 in the paper copy, I found another article about Modano Lace written by Bertha Cragun of Washington.  This article, titled "Circle It," contained "...things you can do with a circle --- of Modano Lace, ..."  These things include "a charming skirt for a Shirley Temple collector doll," a pillowcase decoration, a "Lacy Shawl," a "Garden Hat," and a 6-pointed star.  There are photos of all these items and basic instructions.  It certainly looks like my kind of netting.

Both issues of International Old Lacers were located on a section of the University of Arizona's website.  When I searched that section for Modano, I found the following tidbits of information:

On page 12 of A Guide to Old and New Lace in Italy:

"Modano, a very ancient net lace that is made without any embroidery is quite artistic in effect.  The meshes of Modano may be large or small, round, square or shell-shaped, according to the size and form of the stick which is held in the left hand and the number of meshes taken or skipped in knotting into the row above.  This netting can be varied indefinitely; it is often very pretty and to the untrained eye, it greatly resembles some of the varieties of pillow lace."  (Brazzà, Cora A. A Guide to Old and New Lace in Italy, Exhibited at Chicago in 1893. Chicago: W.B. Conkey, 1893.)

And, in the Old Lace Manual

"Lacis: -- See Punto a maglia, Sfilatura, Modano, Filet, Netzarbeir.  The ground net work is usually of linen thread, sometimes in colored silk, green, brown, and yellow a favorite combination.  Square meshes, darned in with patterns, crossing and interlacing threads.  Made from the beginning of the XV century, till the present time.  The earliest designs, conventional diapers, religious emblems, two birds divided by the sacred tree, etc."

"Modano: --See Lacis.  The early was not generally embroidered, but had knotted meshes in different shapes.  Italian square meshed knotted lace, in white linen thread and colored silks, the design darned in.  made in all countries, and in each century, after XIV."  (Kohlsaat, Amy Milton. Old Lace Manual. New York: Privately Printed, 1910.)

So, do any of you know more about Modano Lace and how it relates to netting?  Does anyone know how Modano Lace relates to Mezza Mandolina?  If you know, please comment, so the rest of us can learn.


tony said...

Here is one article


Rita said...

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the link. I've seen some of her explanations before, though I had not seen this particular one.

She clearly outlines the problems and describes how to make the stitches.