Marion Barnett has kindly written the following instructions for making Lutradur lace.
Marion is a very well known and respected textile artist and was one of the very first to work with Lutradur and Evolon, when we introduced these fabrics to the market some 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, in fact, 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 lace for trimmings on hats for instance, while I might use heavier weights to make a layered effect on a bag.
A mesh of interlocking circles created using free motion machine stitching.
To make the lace, start by colouring the Lutradur using transfer dyes, ironing the colour on to both sides of the cloth; the lace is three dimensional, and needs to look the same on both sides. Then, free motion machine stitch into the cloth. Machine stitch 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 photograph above). It’s really important to make a mesh, or your lace will disintegrate later, when you burn away the excess material. 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 means that your lace will 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 melt when you burn 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 out the excess, of course, you don’t need to worry, as you can burn out the edges as well.
A closer view of the interlocking circles.
When you have finished stitching, you should have a fabric that looks a bit like this the example above. Now, take a heat gun and burn out the excess fabric in the holes, until you have something like this . . .
The Lutradur has been melted away to reveal the machine stitched lace.
Hey presto! Lutradur lace!
I use this fabric for a variety of purposes; like the trim shown on the hat above.
– Marion Barnett
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