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Tenerife lace collar, late 19th century (TRC 2020.0462).Tenerife lace collar, late 19th century (TRC 2020.0462).From March to July 2020, the TRC presents a mini exhibition on Tenerife lace, following the recent acquisition by the TRC of a beautiful Tenerife lace collar (TRC 2020.0462). The display is on show in the workroom of the TRC.

Tenerife (also spelt Teneriffe) lace is a form of needle woven lace that includes a series of individual discs or rosettes. It was developed in Europe in the 19th century. It has become particularly associated with the Spanish island of Tenerife, in the Atlantic, where it was worked by women and girls and sold mainly via the trousseau market and a growing tourist trade. Tenerife lace was also exported to various Spanish colonies in South America, where it became known as naduti (‘web’, as in spider’s web).  

Tenerife lace is made by using a small frame (or 'wheel'), which is generally round, although square, triangular and oval shaped versions also exist. The round frames are known as sol (sun) or rueda (wheel) and come in a variety of sizes, from 5 to 15 cm. Occasionally even larger examples are made.

A cotton, linen or silk thread is passed back-and-forward around the ‘teeth’. These are nails or pins that are inserted into the edge of the frame. Once all these ‘radical’ threads are secured, a pattern can be woven using a needle. The finished discs (rosettes) are then released from the frame. Once enough lace discs have been made they are sewn together in an open structure, or may be inset into a ground material. Sometimes the ground material is also embroidered.

Tenerife lace was used for making a range of items, including collars, bodices and cuffs for blouses and dresses, as well as decorating household items such as pin cushions, cushions, table cloths, serviettes, doilies, and curtains.

This form of lace became very popular in the late 19th century and continued to be made well into the 1930’s. However, it had virtually died out by the 1960’s, as changes in interior design, types of household linen and in what people were making and wearing changed dramatically. Since the 2010’s there has been an increased interest in Tenerife lace as part of the general revival of craft traditions. It is sometimes described as a means of making lace without the complications!

Tenerife frames and other items in the TRC collection and included in the exhibition:

Tenerife lace examples:

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Hogewoerd 164
2311 HW Leiden.
Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 /
+31 (0)6 28830428  

The TRC is open again from Tuesday, 2nd June, but by appointment only.

Bank account number:
NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59,
Stichting Textile Research Centre

TRC Gallery exhibition:
5 Febr. -27 August 2020: American Quilts

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The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Stichting Textile Research Centre.
Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
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