Aemilia Ars

Aemilia Ars Needle Lace and how to make it, its specific stitches and working methods. All skill levels.

Members: 83
Latest Activity: Dec 1, 2017

Books Websites and Resources for Aemilia Ars

L'AEMILIA ARS DI ANTONILLA CANTELLI - this book not only has pictures of the exceptional work of her studio, it has the design diagrams on facing pages that you can copy for the toile. I do not speak or read Italian, but with a dictionary I can usually decode the one or two sentences that describe each step. Also, since the sentences are short, sometimes I can type them into Google Translate, which can help.  Her facebook page:

Barbara Cantelli's book, "L' Aemilia Ars di Antonilla Cantelli". It is excellent for following the patterns & then there are two others, Bordi & Fiori which have very good illustrations & steps for how to do the lace. All in Italian but the pics are very clear.

from Silvia The group "I merletti di Antonilla Cantelli" has just launched this website. In the future it will be expanded and perhaps translated into English.

One of our members, Patricia Girolami, recommends this:
"The following books about Aemila Ars, written in Italian with English translations, would not be a bad start.
Un Bordo, Aemilia Ars. (A Border in aemilia ars.) Edition Il Punto Antico."
A lovely geometrical border, a good point to begin in aemilia ars. This border can easily be broken up and used in smaller units. There are explanations in photographs.

Aemilia Ars, Designs and Lace. An anastatic copy of an antique book, with a second book of explanations of the old designs. Also has explanations in photgraphs and an English translation. (Two small books in a slip case).

You can found two beautiful articles about Aemilia Ars in this new blog:
Aemila Ars, Dai vecchi disegni ai nuovi merletti. An exhibition catalogue with a little more. There are also original designs and explanations of the working.
(Aemili Ars, From old designs to new lace)

All books by Il Punto Antico, Bologna, Italy.

Refer to Pia Breviglieri who speaks english.


Quaderni di Aemilia Ars : Fiori. It is written in italian and wonderfully illustrated. (Recommended by Virginie Cornaglia.)

Quaderni Di Aemilia Ars: Corso Base by Bianca Rosa Bellomo, Carla D'Alessandro, Luisa Monteventi. 

Look at Patricia's series of images showing stages in working aemilia ars: 


Silvia has a tutorial on her blog for a simple reticella design worked in the aemilia ars method: 

Her aemilia ars picot ;

aemilia ars picots = bullion picots

Discussion Forum

Amelia Ars 14 Replies

Should Amelia Ars always be white or should we be trying colour?

Tags: Anne

Started by Anne Weston. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti. Mar 18, 2015.

Made by Aemelia Ars needle lace insert, peacocks urns etc 10 Replies

Hi all.Plese go to my page and look at Aemelia Ars table cloth, this is made by herMargaretContinue

Started by margaret ruhland. Last reply by Carolyn Wetzel May 1, 2012.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Lorelei Halley on January 23, 2015 at 12:31pm

Christina - what you point out, that the AA method is faster, suggests an origin in time at the date the organization was created. Right around 1900, throughout the lace world, all the designers and teachers were trying to create laces that could be made faster, to reduce the labor needed. That reinforces Lynette's remark about the method originating with the creation of Aemilia Ars in the very late 19th c.

I have noticed that Italians always use the word reticello. But if you google that word you get more glassware than lace. And in English I find both spellings used -- reticella and reticello. 

Which us to another issue. One could object to my inclusion of embroidered reticello (geometric cutwork) and geometric punto in aria in the same group. I did that because when I google reticella, there are as many needle lace examples as embroidered examples. Apparently the general public has no idea that the 2 things are distinct.  What we call things can't be limited to perfectly rational terminology as understood by experts (us), but must use words and phrases that the somewhat ignorant public uses, or they won't be able to find us. If we never use the words they use, their searches will not bring them to our site. So we have to use somewhat incorrect terms to catch the non-experts who are trying to learn more than they already know.

Comment by Christina Cato on January 23, 2015 at 8:15am
Lorelei I've been doing research into the connection between 16th and 17th century needle lace and the 2 revivals in the 19th century. The of the big things I'm finding is that what many call reticella (I've never seen the Italians spell it this, way and reticello is a very different technique) is a mash up of punto tagliato and punto in aria. The technique was a creative way of recreating what they saw, but had no basis actual technique. I haven't found any evidence that the AA society had any more direct information, but the anchor method they use does create faster and more precise lace so it could be they were working from the idea that lace had to be made fairly quickly or no one would have made any money.
Comment by Maria Klinger on January 23, 2015 at 6:36am

Sorry Lorelei, I haven't a clue.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on January 22, 2015 at 10:12pm

Maria I'm not asking about the history of needle lace, but rather about the rather peculiar way that AA sets up a piece to work. In western Europe a doubled thread is couched down with tacking stitches every 2 mm. But in AA tacking stitches are put in first, and only at points where the outline changes direction. It uses the absolute minimum number of tacking stitches. It requires a different way of thinking about the order of working.

Comment by Maria Klinger on January 22, 2015 at 4:47pm

Not being an expert in the field, far from it, I can only offer you a personal deduction. After Reticella, Punto tagliato and Punto in Aria it appears the technique, in various forms, was around for a long time, before Ars Aemilia.

The main aim of the AA was to offer the means of earning a living to poor women: making and selling a beautiful lace; therefore a set of precise and simple rules for the working/production of the lace had to be established, hence the Ars Aemilia technique as we know it today.

Comment by Lynette Hale on January 22, 2015 at 2:50pm

Lorelei, By what I have read of Amilia Ars lace, it was invented that way (no cordonnet) so it is peculiar to Italy for that type of lace. It is quite tricky to try & put the "tacking stitches" in what you think is the right place if the pattern being used does not indicate where they are to go! Sometimes it is a good idea to have the working needle going at the same time as the "tacking" needle so that you can see where they are to go. Probably not the correct way but I don't see how it won't work!

Comment by Lorelei Halley on January 22, 2015 at 2:31pm


Thanks for the history link. Interesting. What I'd like to know is when the aemilia ars method of working first occurred. Was it a long standing tradition in Italy? Or was it something the AA society invented in 1898?

Comment by Loretta Holzberger on January 21, 2015 at 10:19pm

I have the Fiori book.  I will probably try another project from it in the future. 

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on January 21, 2015 at 9:59pm

Which Italian book do you have, Loretta?

I have the 3 Quaderini di Aemilia Ars books.   - the Fiori, the Bordi, and theFrutti Classica.  I haven't done much from them though - yet! just dabbled in the Fiori.

Il cordonetto is the thread, I think, and they suggest 50, 60, 70 etc - so make of that what you will!!!

Puunto smerlo is the normal buttonhole stitch, Punto chiaro is a knotted buttonhole stitch,Punto cordonico seems to be wrapping,Il Gruppeto is the picot which they work differently - more like a Venetian picot, but slightly differently.

I found I had to carefully follow the diagram for the placing of the support threads. I cannot work out for myself just where they should go!

I, too, found it odd not to have the outline threads laying there ready to be used!

Comment by Teri Dow on January 21, 2015 at 1:35pm
Hi Loretta, I don't know whether you use an IPad or not but if you do, you can take a photo of text using an app called "Pixter", this will then translate the relevant text. One can only do this piece meal however. It will not do a whole page in one swoop. Or, I think, you could take a photo of the text, copy and paste it into google translate. Beware however the sentence construction may not necessarily be 100 per cent precise etc but you may gain more of an insight into what is being conveyed. Kind regards.

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