Lutradur Lace for an Easter Bonnet?
Marion Barnett has kindly written the following instructions describing how to make Lutradur lace, as illustrated above . . .
Marion is a very well known and respected Textile Artist and one of the very first to work with Lutradur and Evolon, when we introduced these fabrics to the market several years ago.
Making Lutradur Lace by Marion Barnett
One of the great things about Lutradur is that, although it looks and feels delicate, it is actually remarkably strong. That makes it a wonderful base for all sorts of stitch techniques. I often use it to make a form of embroidered lace; the heavier the weight, the stiffer the lace will be. So, lightweight Lutradur is good for making lace for trimmings on hats for instance, while I might use heavier weights to make a layered effect on a bag.
To make the lace, start by colouring the Lutradur using transfer dyes, remembering to iron the colour on to both sides of the cloth. The lace is three-dimensional and therefore needs to look the same on both sides. Then, free motion machine stitch into the cloth. Machine stitching is essential for this kind of work, as you need more strength than hand stitching will provide.
I work in circles, making sure that all of the circles join together (as shown in the photographs above and below). It’s really important to make a mesh, or your lace will disintegrate, when the excess material is melted away later on. The circles don’t need to be regular as long as they overlap; go over them a couple of times to add extra strength.
I usually use variegated threads in the machine, because it adds visual interest and allows your lace to mix and match with a variety of different colours. If you like, try using a different thread in the bobbin; that way, you have a choice of which side to use, making a really flexible, double-sided fabric. Don’t use metallic thread, however, as it will dissolve when you melt away the fabric, which rather defeats the purpose! I use either cotton or rayon threads.
I don’t use an embroidery frame to do this, because I like the way that the stitch pulls up the fabric to make a flexible ‘bubbly’ texture. If size is important, however, make sure that your fabric is about ten per cent larger all round than the finished area you need, as the fabric will draw up and shrink as you go along.
Also watch your fingers as you work the edges of the lace; if you are using the fabric without burning, you need to work right up to the edges. If you’re going to burn away the excess, of course, you don’t need to worry, as you can burn out the edges as well.
When you have finished stitching, you should have a fabric that looks a bit like the example above. Now, take a heat gun and burn out the excess fabric in the holes, until you have something like this . . .
Hey presto! Lutradur lace! I use this fabric for a variety of purposes; like the trim shown on the hat above. Happy stitching! – Marion Barnett
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