Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Different Styles of Reticello - Part Three

Sometimes there are people or animals in Reticello as is the case in this border, taken from Old Italian Lace (1913) by Elisa Ricci, preserved now at the Victoria & Albert museum.

(As mentioned in the two previous posts in this series, Old Italian Lace can be downloaded in pdf form from the Online Digital Documents website.)

How can you tell this is Reticello and not Punto in Aria or some other needle lace?
Antonio Merli in his 1864 text - Origine ed uso delle Trine a filo di Refe says the following:
"Reticello is made in two ways: the oldest consists of withdrawing ground threads from a part of the fabric and working a design with the needle over top of those [threads] remaining - perfected then by sometimes adding additional threads when the design requires; the other [method] is by building a square or rectangular framework on top of parchment and working it similarly to the preceding method."
So, see those vertical bars? Reticello. Remember though, very often different techniques were combined on one piece. It is not always easy to find one classification for some embroideries.

From the Collezioni Comunali d'Arte Museum in Bologna:

There is something really interesting in discovering and identifying human figures and animals in needlework. I know some people who even collect all the examples they can find. Figures are found in needle lace (and embroideries) especially in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Maria Del Popolo's style of Reticello is different again from the previous ones we've looked at.

She does some of the most amazing Reticello work which she learned from her mother! This is the cover of her third book: Disegni di Reticello Antico which is just for drooling over, there are no didactic instructions inside like there are in her first two publications: Il Reticello Antico and Reticello Antico e Filet. You can see some examples of her work here, here and here.

Next time we'll visit some of those elaborate Reticello collars and cuffs from Renaissance art and antique pattern books.

You can get Maria Del Popolo's books from Tombolo Disegni. Click on "Libri/Books", then "Libri Ricamo", then "Libri Ricamo Italiani" - send an email request to order.

Different Styles of Reticello - Part One
Different Styles of Reticello - Part Two
Different Styles of Reticello - Part Four

Thanks to Elisabetta for the Bologna Reticello photo!


  1. I long to do work like Maria's - what a feast for the eyes. I am starting a bit smaller though - I just purchased a kit to teach myself filet lace so it was nice to see what Maria had on her site for that too.
    As always, a pleasure to read your blog!

  2. My kit for the filet lace arrived today. Can't wait to get started.

  3. What I, too wouldn't give to do Reticello like Maria Del Popolo! Good luck on your Filet Lace - will you post on your blog?