Aemilia Ars

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

Members: 91
Latest Activity: Apr 11

Books Websites and Resources for Aemilia Ars

Margaret Stephens GEOMETRICAL NEEDLELACE IN THE STYLE OF AEMILIA ARS, self published, 2016. Clear instructions about basics, like putting in a new thread, exactly how to make a leaf shape. She uses colored threads so it is easy to see just exactly where the threads go. Clear photographs. Once past the basics she shows where to set the tacking stitches and the sequence of motions. Available from the author.

Bellamo, D'Allessandro, Montevento  BASIC COURSE (Aemilia ars) has been translated into English by Jeanine Robertson. 3 volumes. available here:

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

What thread count for linen fabric? 7 Replies

What thread count should I be looking for in linen fabric for Aemilia Ars drawn thread work?  And what weight?  I would guess that shadow work linen (almost like a batiste) is too thin, correct?  Do…Continue

Started by Trinity. Last reply by Trinity Apr 7.

Which Aemilia Ars book(s) would you recommend FIRST for a beginner? 6 Replies

1.  Geometrical Needlelace in the Style of Aemilia Ars by Margaret Stephens2.  The three-volume Basic Course (English version) by Bianca Rosa Bellomo, Carla D’Alessandro, and Luisa Monteventi3. …Continue

Started by Trinity. Last reply by Carolyn Wetzel Mar 13.

Ergonomics of Lace Making 11 Replies

I am interested in trying Aemilia Ars/Punto in Aria. I found a little "taster' piece online (…Continue

Started by Eve Zelinsky. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Sep 15, 2020.

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.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Lorelei Halley on June 18, 2018 at 6:26pm

Carolyn - You know far more about aemiliia ars that I do. What made me think that might be what it was, was the little red lines showing where the tacking stitches would be place. That appeared to be similar to the aemilia ars method. I had never understood that there were a specific set of stitches that go with that technique. What term can we use for lace that starts with minimal tacking stitches put down, and which guide the outline threads when they are laid down? It is a different method than the couching method for securing the outline threads.

Here is an example, not a very good one, that I am referring to. Do you have a better example? Perhaps a simpler pattern, just to show the method?

Comment by Carolyn Wetzel on June 18, 2018 at 11:02am

Lorelei, Grace's Lace website you shared has some excellent diagrams and interesting patterns. It is not specifically Aemilia Ars, though, because the picots are different, she does not use the knotted stitch (punto chiaro), and she outlines the triangles with thread before making them.

There were many variations of techniques used in the 16th century in different regions, and she is just using a subset of them that is different than the subset chosen by the Aemilia Ars Society workers when they made their recreations of old lace.

It's a wonderful site and I hope she adds more to it!

Comment by Lorelei Halley on June 17, 2018 at 5:12pm

Free lace patterns. I think they are aemilia ars in the working method. She also has good stitch diagrams.

Comment by Robert on July 20, 2017 at 2:52pm


I cannot even begin to imagine what a wonderful experience that must have been.   Good for you!

Comment by Carolyn Wetzel on July 11, 2017 at 11:01am

I recently returned from Bologna, Italy, where I had the pleasure of taking some Aemilia Ars lace lessons with Bianca Rosa Bellomo, Carla D’Alessandro, and Luisa Monteventi. What amazing, wonderful women they are! I picked up lots of tips - you know, the "cook until done" kind of knowledge that you learn only by working alongside the teacher. I highly recommend their books and videos if you don't have them. And I had a hint that there is another borders book in the works...

They also showed me beautiful work that they and their teacher, Antonilla Cantelli, had made. And I saw all the AA lace that was to be found on public display in Bologna museums. Overall a highly rewarding 4 days!

Here is one piece I saw in the Collezioni Comunali d'Arte:

Comment by Lorelei Halley on May 2, 2017 at 7:42pm

Loretta Holzberger

A really nice Aemilia Ars flower in the IOLI Bulletin. I'm going to work it.

Comment by Carolyn Wetzel on July 7, 2016 at 2:36pm

I copy the pattern on plain blue paper, cover it with matte clear contact paper, then put it on one layer of bookcloth (Arrestox) and one or two layers of cotton fabric, sewing all the layers together. The bookcloth gives it some flexible stiffness and durability, and the fabric back is comfortable against my skin.

Comment by Regina Martinez on June 12, 2016 at 9:27am
I print the pattern on light card stock, and cover it with vellum, or contact paper. :)
Comment by Silvia on June 12, 2016 at 9:19am
In Itlaian "cartoncino Bristol" is a smooth cardboard, such as that emploied for business cards
Comment by Janet Peer on June 12, 2016 at 8:36am
I copy the pattern onto card stock, cover it withs plastic film (contact paper--just as I do for bobbin lace), then add two layers of fabric under the pattern, whip stitch all together around the edges and I'm ready to start. I like using just card stock because it isn't too stiff (but stiff enough) and is flexible enough to maneuver around my fingers.

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