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.

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Latest Activity: Jan 1

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:




A set of videos on how to make this kind of lace. Might be a good resource.

https://www.aypoupen.com/5852/armenian-knotted-needle-lace-tutorials/ ;

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

Greetings, and some questions. 13 Replies

Hi, fellow lacers!First post here. Greetings from the Crescent City! I'm primarily a tatter, but I've dabbled in some needle lace before.I'm especially interested in oya/bebilla and the "floral"…Continue

Started by Hollie Domiano. Last reply by Hollie Domiano Apr 12, 2018.

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.

Comment Wall


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

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.  

Comment by Hatice on March 17, 2016 at 8:54pm
Kathy if you're using Turkish polyester thread you need to stretch it first. This will stop it tangling and knotting on itself. Secondly your knots are not tight enough, and I think you may be only wrapping the needle once instead of twice. If you wrap your needle once while using polyester thread, you leave the knot more open to coming undone especially if you don't pull the thread super tight. Wrap your needle twice counter-clockwise and pull the thread up straight infront of you (I use my little finger to do this) Im not sure about other types, however Turkish needle lace, or iğne oyası, uses more double wraps than single...and no one uses cotton anymore, it's either silk or polyester/nylon.
Comment by Kathy Bishop on March 17, 2016 at 8:44pm
I'm using a polyester thread, as that is what was suggested in a comment in this group awhile back. It seems to be the type of thread used in many of the videos that I've seen. I don't know of a lace library in my area. Can you tell me who makes a #40 crochet cotton?
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on March 16, 2016 at 11:43pm

As Loretta says - use a cotton thread - a #40 crochet cotton is good.  the knot forms a sort of figure of 8 as you tighten it. The teacher Elena Dickson, holds the thread just above the knot, and then rolls her hand backwards to tighten the knot. The thread tightens below her thumb as she holds the thread, and the back of her hand  rolls upwards and towards her body -- if this makes sense. Pity you can't see my hand waving around!!!!!!!! :)  There is a DVD made by her that is very good for beginners. Have you a Lace Library that you can access, and try to borrow it?

Comment by Loretta Holzberger on March 16, 2016 at 11:33pm

I don't know what type of thread you are using, but cotton works better than most.  A #30 or #40 crochet cotton works very well.  Then you need to snug each knot up tight.  It should be difficult to try to un-stitch or untie.  If not, the thread is too slippery or you are not tightening the knot enough. 


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