Crochet Lace Sampler

Recently visiting the bi-annual vintage market on Rue de Bretagne in Paris we fell in love with a crochet sampler that once belonged to a Mademoiselle Minel from Grandvilliers in Oise. Once a common article in a young women’s possession, a sampler was made to show and record the different points and stitches that were achieved in embroidery, crochet and other needlepoint. This particular sampler was compelling due to the many examples of finely stitched lace crochet stitches. Using extremely fine metal crochet needles this technique was traditionally executed in white or creme colored cotton or linen thread and employed to craft curtains, doilies and trimmings that were attached to edges of linens and hems of camisoles.

In the photos below we take a closer look at the sampler and other trimmings we found at the market which appear to be cuffs that were removed from their original garment, perhaps attached to a woven nightgown that was too frayed to save. The enormous amount of time that goes into these handworked pieces should elevate these items into cherished pieces of art however they can often be found for a few dollars in secondhand markets.

The sampler was carefully embossed with the name of the owner and the region in France where she lived.

Crochet Lace Trims

A view of one of the tables in the market where we found some of the lace pieces. The market is held twice a year in over a weekend in the month of May and November along the Rue de Bretagne in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris.