Beautiful Embroidered Lace ~ Appenzell WeiBstickerei

Last fall  I found the prettiest lace handkerchief with the tiniest little stitches and pretty flowers woven into it on a fluke while driving around Dallas and just happened to be passing
by a thriftshop…

Recently  I used this pretty handkerchief as a napkin
in this pretty tablesetting but then I got to thinking
about it… and I wondered what kind of lace
was this?
Another of my newer thriftshop finds ~ this cotton hanky is delicately trimmed with
just the tiniest little flowers all the way around it’s four edges.

Both of these handkerchiefs above were found at thriftshops ~ 
the lower is a man’s handkerchief from the early 1900’s
is my guess.
The Appenzeller wedding handkerchief {top} showcases
a beautiful and probably handmade bobbin lace edging ~
3″ at its widest and 4 1/2″ long at the corners.
Amazingly beautiful with a small peony or waterlily in the Appenzell embroidery technique
set just inside one corner of the cotton batiste handkerchief ~ 
this was certainly handmade!

Would you believe I found this one inside a large
but not great picture frame for a mere $4.00?
True story!

So here’s a little history of this type of lace for you.

A bit of an oops photo!  I didn’t look at what direction I had the plate… Oh, well!  Really shows the beauty of this lace.  😉

History of Appenzeller Embroidery

Appenzeller weiBstickerei is the name in German and in English
{pronounced like “apple” and weiBstickerei has a “double S” written as a capital B}
it is called “the whitework of Appenzell {Switzerland}.”
According to Tourismus Appenzell this type of whitework
“evolved from three related craft industries: tapestry,
cotton spinnery and chain stitch embroidery.”

The peak period when this embroidery technique was hand-sewn was during the 1850’s.
Machine embroidery became available during the Industrial Revolution and basically wiped out all handmade lace industry
with its cheaper costs and mass production ~
quality was sacrificed.
In an excellent paper published by the author of Studio Stitch Art ~ 20th Century Lace: The Struggle Between Machine Lace and Hand Made Lace
the author discusses that combining usage of the jacquard loom carding techniques with the lace backing created by the
bobbin net machine, infinite possibilities in lace designs
were now at the designers’ fingertips.

Skilled lacemakers were stunned at the better quality of
this new machinery but purists {Luddites} kept at their craft
and thankfully handmade lacemaking survived on a much
smaller scale still being passed down from
mother to daughter.

Lacemakers today still use these same ethereal techniques of sewing with silk, cotton or linen threads wound onto bobbins.
Pins are set out in specific patterns on a pillow and from there
the seamstress embroiders in very specific knots and twists.
This technique of creating stretchers, flowers and padded areas
created magnificent 3-D quality pictures which are almost
unheard of in today’s modern world.

I once read that a good day’s work was finishing a
1″ x 1″ square of lace in an 8 hour day…

Another of my little napkins used as a placemat… 🙂
Sharing with
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondock’s Blog
Wow ~ Savvy Southern Style
Thursday Favorite Things {following week, Lol!}
Keep In Touch ~ Let’s Add Sprinkles

An update:
This post was featured at
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Petite Haus

An update ~ here are a couple of books you might like that go along with this post:

Just a little fun lace history for you!

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