Battenburg Tape Lace

Fragment of Battenburg tape lace. Fragment of Battenburg tape lace.

Battenburg tape lace, also (more correctly) named Battenberg tape lace, is named after the German town of Battenberg. It is one of the simplest forms of Renaissance lace, itself a form of tape lace. Battenburg tape lace is a coarser form of Brussels tape lace and uses tapes that are about 8 mm in width. The tape is usually dense and straight sided.

Traditionally, Battenburg tape lace is plain or has a simple dotted line down the middle. Modern tapes are often decorated with small geometric patterns, often abstract floral forms. 

The overall design is drawn onto a piece of thickish cloth or card and then the tape is sewn down, following the lines of the design, using long, tacking stitches that can be easily removed at a later date. The tape is then sewn together using decorative stitches such as herringbone stitch and so-called spider’s webs, a form of needleweaving. Once the complete design has been sewn together, the tacking stitches and backing are removed, leaving a delicate open structure made completely of tape and stitches. 

Older examples of Battenburg tape lace had the tape gathered or folded to fit around curves. Since the beginning of the twentieth century tapes include a special thread (gimp) along one edge that can be pulled to gather the tape, which gives it a neater appearance.


  • BEST, Dianna and Nancy HUGHES (1992), An Introduction to Battenburg Lace, Saskatchewan: Regina.
  • EARNSHAW, Pat (1984). A Dictionary of Lace, Aylesbury: Shire Publications Ltd, pp. 168-169.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 29 June 2016).


Last modified on Monday, 30 January 2017 12:55
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