Needle Lace, a Forgotten Anatolian Craft


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Needle lace plays an important role in Anatolian handicrafts. According to the examples of old needle lace, needle lace and all hand embroidery reached their peak in Anatolia in the 18th century. However, following the Tanzimat, interest in needle lace gradually waned. It is clear that needle lace, which is three-dimensional and has a distinct place in knitting arts, is not used as a standalone ornament. Embroidery is a handicraft that can be used to communicate with the messages it carries, as well as for decoration and embellishment. Anatolian women used the objects, colors, and motifs they used while performing this art to express their feelings, reproaches, affections, anger, social positions, and even love. They expressed themselves in hushed tones. For example, our people attempted to establish a heart language using items such as oil, environment, and handkerchief, and expressed their feelings to the addressee through the motifs and colors on the handkerchief through the laces he embroidered. The young girl, bride, or mother-in-law wearing the pepper lace motif calligraphy expressed her rage by writing to the other person.

Needle laces are still made in some parts of Turkey today. Rize, Konya, Bursa, Kastamonu, nebolu, zmir, Balkesir, Gönen, Kütahya, Mula, Ordu, Bolu, çel, and Amasya are some of our best-known regions, each with its own distinct style. Needle lace works are not limited in these regions, but they can be used comfortably in our daily lives with decorative products inspired by old laces and motifs. Patterns are made up of geometric shapes, plants, and especially flowers. The names given to some needle laces are interesting because they reflect our people’s imagination and sense of humor.

How is Needle Lace Produced?

Anatolian, needle lace is an art form created by knotting thread with the aid of a needle. Despite the fact that the work is the same, the motifs can have different names depending on the region. Needle laces are named after the shapes to which they are compared. Needlework employs a variety of threads. Needle laces can be made on a strip, along the edge of a fabric, or as a standalone cover. The needles used must be properly selected. The needle should be large and thin, and the hole should be large. Because the needle is thin, the needlework holes are small and neat. The threads used today are mostly nylon-based. Mercerized wire threads are also widely used. Needle laces are used in a variety of room sets, showcase sets, lampshades, embellishments, prayer rugs, prayer covers, various handkerchiefs, bedspreads, and jewelry.

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