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>"Gros Point de Venise" Symposium 2009
> Identifying antique lace


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Retournac investit la biennale



Youlie Spantidaki explanationUsually, specialized training courses like identifying antique lace would be held in Paris. This year, Youlie Spantidaki, head of the Research centre for antique textile in Athens (ARTEX),  specialist in the study of antique textile, chose the Museum in Retournac to organise a very sharp scientific training course in identifying antique lace.

Last September, for a week, she transmitted part of her knowledge to 6 “students”, some lace-makers on one hand, and some professional museum staff on the other hand.


stereoscopic microscopeDiverse lace-making techniques were broached: embroidered lace (filet (netting), Buratto, worked thread, cut-thread), needle lace (Venitian lace, Point de France, Alençon-Argentan, gauze stitch, imitations from the 19th century), and bobbin lace : (continuous thread lace, added thread lace, and lace with added pieces).
The identification took different forms. Firstly, a very complete pedagogical support, gathering hundreds of images, with very precise details was given to each participant. Then, each type of lace was approached in a theoretical manner with these images as support, followed by a manipulation of the lace items to be studied with the naked eye, then with thread counter, and finally a very thorough examination with a stereoscopic microscope to understand the internal structure of the lace item and visualize for the best its technical formation.
The Museum therefore had to equip itself with Nikon professional gear thanks to an exceptional subvention from its sponsors : The government, the “DRAC”, the Regional Council, the General Council and the “Communauté de Communes des sucs”


practical exerciseThen for a better understanding of the composition of lace, the students moved on to practice, trying on the basic stitches of different techniques, especially in needle-lace.

By the end of the week, a little revision was in order, this being done by studying the display cabinets to make a synthesis of the acquired knowledge.

Although broaching a very specialized subject, this course remain accessible to all, thanks to a very pedagogical approach, and the supports and manipulation help to understand it.


Should you be interested, you can enrol for the next session due from april 6th to 10th 2009. There will be yet another session taking place in September (dates to be released later).
Fee for the course : €350 (with a €50 deposit upon enrolment)
Download the enrolment form. Form to be returned before march 15th 2009.




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