Sunday, December 15, 2013

Singapore Brides: A lesson on lace for your wedding gown

Since Kate Middleton walked down the aisle in a Grace Kelly-inspired Alexander McQueen wedding gown that combined French and English lace, many brides have started to give lace a second look.
 
A Brief History of Lace
 
Lace first gained popularity in the 16th century when it became a status symbol due to its exceptional cost.  The amount of lace a person wore, or how elaborate the lace was, determined a person’s wealth and social standing.  This changes in the late 1700s, when machine-made lace was made available and lace became affordable to a greater portion of the population.  Lace became associated with the wedding gown when Queen Victoria decided to wear a white wedding gown (incorporating some handmade lace that she owned) when she wed Prince Albert in 1840. Since then lace and wedding dresses have gone together like brides and grooms.
 
Types of Lace Available in Singapore
 
As can be imagined, a wide variety of lace styles exists. In Singapore, you can find laces of every color, including some with beads.  The most popular are the following four which can be found at the stores along Arab Street and hence most often used in the wedding gowns found in Singapore ...
 
1. Alençon Lace (also known as Point d’Alençon).  The Alencon Lace is one of the the most popular types of lace for wedding gowns and features a floral or leaf design on a sheer net background. The design, made of fine linen thread, is outlined with heavy threads to embolden the pattern and add more definition. Alencon Lace is often embellished with beads or sequins
 
2. Battenberg Lace (also known as Renaissance lace).  Battenberg Lace is heavy lace made from shaping linen braid into patterns and then using connections made of thread to hold the pattern together. Of all the styles, the Battenberg lace is the most readily accessible type of lace.
 
3. Chantilly Lace.  The other most common type of lace for wedding dresses is known as the Chantilly Lace.  Made in France and named for the city where it originated, Chantilly Lace is a delicate, web-like bobbin lace that is characterized by a pattern of flowers, branches and ribbons on a plain net background. The lace is lightweight and soft to the touch.
 
4. Schiffli Lace.  This is lightweight machine-made type of lace that evolved from the handmade version.  The Schiffli has an all-over, intricate, intertwining, decorative pattern embroidered onto the surface of English net or tulle. This gives the lace a light, airy appearance.

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