Lace Makers’ Pins


Bones as pins

I read in F.B Palliser’s Victorian book on lace history that, in Devon, lacemakers used fish bones as pins, being mainly the wives of fishermen living along the coast. I asked Professor David Hopkin about this and he said that he hadn’t heard of this but that, due to the expensive nature of handmade metal pins, it is possible that people did use bones as pins. In Mrs Palliser’s book, there is also mention of chicken bones being used in Spain at the time of her book writing (1975).

Thorns as pins

I read in an article by Julia Brussi (a guest writer on the Lace in Context blog) that thorns are used as pins by lacemakers today in Canaan, Brazil. The thorns are taken from a cactus and are found to be more advantageous than metal pins – being cost free and not rusting in the salty air, avoiding the risk of staining the lace.


The History of Lace, Mrs B. Palliser, Third Edition, 1975

Professor David Hopkin – interview 24/5/2021

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