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Your Gown: Lace Glossary

Lace is as individual as the bride who wears it. Check out some of our favorites...

Photo: Sandi Fellman

Delicate-looking yet strong, and rich with history, lace is sort of like the bride herself. It covers while revealing, and can add a touch of centuries-gone-by grace to your wedding ensemble. A bride who wears lace pays tribute to a time-honored tradition.

Developed from embroidery traditions dating back to the 15th century, lace-making involves looping, braiding, and interlacing cotton, silk, nylon, and other types of thread to form a pattern. By the Victorian era, few brides would marry without a touch of frilly threadwork somewhere on their gowns; today, lace is widely used in wedding gowns. Heralded for its inherent romance, intricacy, and graphic detail, lace comes in hundreds of weaves and shades, from the bold decoration of Alencon, Guipure, and Ribbon, to the delicate finery of Schiffli and Chantilly.

The Hot List

Alencon: One of the most popular types of lace for weddings, with a background of flowers and swags.

Chantilly: Features flowers and ribbons on a plain net background.

Duchesse: An irregularly spaced lace of floral design with a lot of raised work.

Guipure: A large series of motifs connected by a few threads.

Ribbon: A random pattern of ribbon sewn over a net background.

Schiffli: Lightweight, with an all-over delicate embroidered design.

Spanish: Designed with flat roses on a net background.

Venise: A heavy needlepoint-type design with floral sprays, foliage, or geometric patterns

-- Hollee Actman Becker

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