The Bothered Owl

Alex and Sarah's crafty corner of cyberspace

Shawl Preservation Society… February 20, 2011

Filed under: General Crafty Chat — thebotheredowl @ 9:02 am

I have a quick question which I hope some of you smart crafters out there might be able to help me with.

My grandma gave me this very very old shawl a few years ago.

I think it must have been made by a relative back in the far reaches of time but I really don’t know. I’ve never worn it because it’s very very scratchy and it’s also incredibly delicate and starting to disintegrate in places.

It looks like it’s at least partially crocheted and I have no idea where to even start with regard to restoring/preserving it. The whole thing is constructed from circles:

The circles are joined together by really fine mesh which looks like it might be made of really tiny chain stitch? I can’t even begin to comprehend how the circles themeselves are made. The wool is so fine, doesn’t appear to have been made into stitches, just drawn together in the centre of each circle somehow.

The edges have a fringe of tassels:

The tassels seem to basically be looped into place somehow.

Looking more closely at the circles, there’s a really curious ring of stitching around the centre of each one.

I’m really curious about how it was made, I just can’t conceive of how someone constructed this thing from such fine strands. And I want to preserve it before it sustains any further damage.

If it helps to narrow things down, my grandmother is from Hungary, her family were Hungarian Jews from just outside Budapest.  A large portion of them didn’t make it through the war. I have a feeling it was probably one of those relatives that made the shawl, hence Grandma wanting to pass it on. Like the various handstitched tablecloths and napkins she’s given me over the years.

I have no idea where to even begin researching this or how I would go about getting the existing ravages mended. Any ideas, fellow crafters?


Edited to Add:

Huge thanks to some very kind fellow Ravellers, I think we have an answer.

Cynalune, Ingridsera, Geoknitter, Schrouderknits and Patriciaelizabeth all concur that this is almost certainly hairpin lace. Possibly knitted on a loom and possibly with a crochet chain webbing to join it all together.

Schrouderknits was kind enough to post a link to a photo of a shawl that looks very similar, it can be seen here:

Thankyou so much to all you lovely people who took the time to have a look and help me out, hugely appreciated! Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to go about mending it, or whether I’m going to wrap it carefully in tissue paper and put it away somewhere special, with lots and lots of cedar balls to keep the moths away!




2 Responses to “Shawl Preservation Society…”

  1. cazhugs Says:

    I hope you manage to find out how to preserve it……it would be so amazing to keep it going for as long as possible 🙂

  2. Colleen Says:

    Refi Irish hairpin lace. Not sure about the Fiber, but I can tell you how to stabilise it! Using acid free cotton or silk gauze/mesh, cut small sections of mesh, and with fine, acid free sewing thread, carefully stitch the mesh underneath the broken bits of lace, to hold it in place. Stitch enough unbroken lace around down to the gauze, around the frayed area, to stabilise it all. Store wrapped in acid free cotton….I’m Neen on Rav, where I saw this link!

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