Oya-Bebilla-Turkish-Armenian-Mediterranean knotted needlelace


Oya-Bebilla-Turkish-Armenian-Mediterranean knotted needlelace

For all our members who want to talk about and learn Oya, Bebilla, igne oyalari, Turkish, Armenian janyak, Mediterranean, or Kene knotted lace.  As far as we can tell the knotted buttonhole stitch is the same, but style (design) varies, as well as the kinds of objects that are typical.

Members: 116
Latest Activity: on Thursday

Books and Resources for Oya/Turkish/Armenian/Bulgarian Needlelace


Armenian Lace by Nouvart Tashjian, republication of 1923 Book The Priscilla Book of Armenian Needlepoint Lace

Knotted Lace In The Eastern Mediterranean Tradition by Elena Dickson, 1992, ISBN 1863511210
Mediterranean Knotted Lace by Elena Dickson, 2005, ISBN 1863513469  It has new designs in it. Soft cover.

Elena Dickson Bibilla Knotted Lace Flowers,  (Milner Craft Series)

Elena Dickson, "The art of Making Knotted Lace",  a DVD Published by Fleetwood Audio-Visual, Elena is the sole distributer.  Holly Van Sciver has some  for sale in the U.S.  The DVD teaches all the techniques for making knotted lace and I demonstrate how to work all the techniques used in my first two books.  The techniques for making Bibilla are the same apart from the double and reverse knots. Using the DVD in conjunction with her Bibilla book, the flowers should be easy to learn. If anyone wants a copy they can contact me on elena.dickson@optusnet.com.au. Make sure that the subject has the word lace in it otherwise I won't open and delete unknown addresses.  "...

Armenian Needlelace and Embroidery by Alice Kasparian, 1983, ISBN 0914440659

Oya Culture since the Ottomans by Taciser Onuk, 2000, 2005, ISBN: 9751724511 It shows how to make the little flowers that decorate the scarves, in Turkish and English
Igne Oyalari (Needleworks)/ Igne Oyalari Cesitleri ve Isleme Yontemleri/ Kinds of Oyas and Embroidery Techniques, by Taciser Onuk, 1980, 1981, 2nd ed 1988, ISBN 975-458-008-01
Igne Oyalari published by Ondori , 2008, with clear visuals, all Japanese, ISBN 9784277311663

Turk Oyalari Katalogu (Turkish Lace Works - Oya - Catalogue) Volume I (I.Cilt). -- Crochet Lace Works (Oya) with Beads, Ankara, 2001. ISBN: 975-17-2020-6 Volume 2(II.Cilt). -- Needle Works, Lace Works with Different Techniques and Materials, Ankara 2001. ISBN: 975-17-2020-6. Color catalogs, no instructions; in Turkish and English
Davtyan, Serig, Armenian Lace (in Armenian with English and Russian summary), Erevan, 1966.
Davtyan, Serig, Armenian Embroidery (in Armenian with English and Russian summary), Erevan, 1972.
Davtyan, Serig, The Embroidery of Marash (in Armenian with English and Russian summary), Erevan, 1974.

Priscilla Armenian Lace Book, online, published 1923 and therefore legal.


For good annotated lists of printed resources about Oya and Mediterranean knotted laces look at the bottom of each of these pages:


Dickson, Kasparian & Tashjian are available from Holly Van Sciver.  All three of the books being sold by Holly van Sciver are really good, but only the Tashjian and Kasparian ones have much info specifically about Bibilla/Bebilla style Oya (Oya is a general term referring to the trim edging, while bebilla refers to the method of making it that uses a Mediterranean/Anatolian/Armenian/Turkish type of knot). In my opinion, Dickson has the best instructions of the three for making the knot and for making basic doilies, edges, etc. Her other book, "Knotted Lace in the Eastern Mediterranean Tradition", has some bebilla instruction.


This video actually shows how to make the stitches, but it does include some rows made with a crochet hook:    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xb9wzh_yyne-oyasy-nasyl-yapylyr-1-fevziye_creation 

These 2 videos show how the stitches are made, how to wrap the thread around the needle, in such slow motion that it is really easy to follow what she is doing:



and anoather:  https://youtu.be/1QazKmtnjQA

And another:


Hatice's video. She makes corded knotted buttonhole stitches with 2 twists around the needle, for an edging. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdVw7LINDmU  and    


Oya Needle Lace Guide,  A booklet by our member Berta Hesen-Minten, available from her website:  http://www.threadteds.com/prestashop/category.php?id_category=37

This video shows how to make an edging starting with the 1st row which is sewn onto the cloth.  You can see the hand and thread movements of how the stitches and triangle shapes are made.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koSQVkDojkc 

This has a lot of instruction, in German and English:  http://oya.spitzenkiste.de/  At least 3 of our members recommend it.

Photos of finished projects, including tablecloths:


Brona has clear stitch diagrams on her blog:


Brona's diagrams of some of her edgings:




http://www.youtube.com/user/lacenews/videos?sort=dd&flow=grid&view=1&page=1  for videos of all forms of handmade lace.

the Japanese Igne Oyalari is available from The Lacemaker (Ohio, USA) for US $35 (she also has the Tashjian and Kasparian books)



Discussion Forum

What weight thread do you suggest for jewelry? 1 Reply

I'm new to the group, and "forum challenged", what weight thread would work best for jewelry?  Right now I use oya to trim my dolls  - for that I use my fine bobbin thread lace threads.  Is silk the…Continue

Started by Diana Therriault. Last reply by Amy O'Malley Nov 11, 2015.

Armenian Needlelace makers in the Idaho/Utah area? 6 Replies

I am learning the Armenian Needlelace (janyak), using the Dickson, Kasparian, and Tashjian books.   I am half Armenian, and my mother's mother made exquisitely beautiful doilies and edgings.  My…Continue

Started by Kristine Baum. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti. Jan 18, 2013.

Using Armenian needlelace as a trim for clothing 4 Replies

I've had a small amount of experience doing Armenian needlelace, mostly just practice on the edges of ribbon, or handkerchiefs. I'd like to use it as an edging on a pair of cut off jeans. I've only…Continue

Started by Keddie Preston. Last reply by Loretta Holzberger Oct 9, 2012.

oya books - my suggestion 4 Replies

I have been searching for an oya book for a while and it is either that they are unavailable, out of print or out of stock. my question to all our fine lacemakers out there is --- why not do your own…Continue

Started by winsome tapper. Last reply by Joy McKenzie Oct 9, 2012.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Oya-Bebilla-Turkish-Armenian-Mediterranean knotted needlelace to add comments!

Comment by Carolyn Wetzel on December 31, 2017 at 9:00pm

I agree Lorelei, the centers of the flowers look crocheted. It adds an interesting contrast in density and weight.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on December 16, 2017 at 6:42pm

An interesting collection of pieces. I think some may have crochet elements, but I  can't tell for sure. Unusual shapes.


Comment by Beth W on November 16, 2017 at 12:49am

@Elizabeth Ligeti as a matter of fact i finally received my shipment from the etsy shop i found it on. https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftSuppliesArt is the url to their shop. Also, check out Etsy studio, i think i found some more there. 

@MaryC i guess, traditionally, silk thread has been and can be used, but it's expensive compared to the polyester thread, which looks nice also.

@Adele Rogers Recklies, yes it is said that the polyester thread is difficult to work with. I read (somewhere) that you need to "stretch" the thread before using it. But i have yet to see this technique demonstrated. I have noticed in the videos i watched that they yank the thread pretty hard when they make a knot. If you come across anything explaining the stretching in more detail, please share here as i would like to know more about it.

Comment by Adele Rogers Recklies on November 14, 2017 at 1:39pm

I bought some of the shiny thread that the Turkish ladies use for oya while we were in Turkey and it is a very slick polyester.  I had a lot of trouble using it because the knots don't stay but that is apparently not a problem with experienced oya makers.  The one Ebay vendor who sold Turkish threads does not have any listings right now so I can't point you towards a source.  You could obviously use silk in place of the polyester thread, if you want.

Comment by MaryC on November 14, 2017 at 9:05am

Is it possibly silk thread?  http://www.thesilkmill.com

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on November 13, 2017 at 8:42pm

I have not used a shiny thread like that, - and Yes, I think it looks good too!  However, be careful of polyester threads as they are a bit stretchy, and so are Very difficult to use, and don't look very good when the tension is not even. (That is from a mainly Bobbin-lace maker, though!!!)

It may be a type of Rayon thread, perhaps. 

Please let us all know if/when you find out about the thread, and where it can be purchased, as I am sure others, like myself would be interested...!!

Comment by Beth W on November 13, 2017 at 8:07pm

ok so i am finding all kinds of resources for these kinds of needle lace and a lot use cotton thread. But i have noticed a lot are using a shiny (polyester?) thread as well. The best description i can find is polyester crochet thread but i can't seem to find any thing of that kind in my searches of where to buy it. Is this the same as polyester sewing machine thread? The only sources i have found so far seem to be on Etsy and nothing in the U.S. I have ordered something from one of the Etsy merchants, but my order seems to have been lost. Where can i get this kind of thread? i love the way the shiny thread looks in the lace.  thank you

Comment by Lorelei Halley on October 15, 2017 at 6:11pm

Here is a video of someone working igne oyasi (Turkish needle lace).


Comment by Georgia Seitz on March 18, 2016 at 11:33am

All three books available thru Amazon. $15.50 but the last one is out of stock.

Comment by Loretta Holzberger on March 17, 2016 at 9:21pm

Handy Hands Tatting at www.hhtatting.com carries lots of brands of thread, but my favorite from them is Lizbeth which comes in #40 as well as many other sizes and a vast selection of colors and shaded colors.  


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