Among the various lace techniques, needle lace is undoubtedly the most extraordinary and valuable invention. In Venice, around 1450, real lace was not worked yet; what they made was a sort of pulled thread embroidery; from a base linen fabric a certain number of weft threads were pulled out, while the remaining threads were covered with buttonhole stitch. A sort of à jour embroidery.

Around the beginning of the sixteenth century, the desire to achieve more transparency led embroiderers to pull out an increasing number of threads, finally arriving to the lucky intuition: why waste time in undoing an already made work, instead of beginning a work from scratch, creating the net ground? This way it was no longer necessary to have a support fabric onto which the embroidery had to be worked; both the ground net and the decorative motives were made at the same time. Needle lace was born.

The punto in aria, or "stitch in the air" was then the result of the need to create a lace from scratch, using only needle and thread, just like a very precious web.

Further readings:

Cfr. A. Kraatz, Merletti, Milan, 1988; Cfr. D.Davanzo Poli, Il Merletto Veneziano, Novara, 1998.
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