Filet Lacis

Filet lacis, filet lace, filet guipure,  filet noué: these are made on a knotted handmade net with embroidery stitches added, especially darning and cloth stitch (toile).  Buratto uses the same decorative and filling stitches, but uses a woven background fabric.

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Latest Activity: Jul 22, 2020

Sources of information

Buratto net /knotted filet lacis net. Photo from Peggy Dolan Finey, on facebook

No photo description available.


The DMC Encyclopedia has a chapter on filet, and a separate booklet, available from Look for Dillmont

Links to the DMC booklets on filet lacis:  (This one is just examples.)
Also look there for Hardouin FILET BRODE and Orsoni

DMC online chapter on how to make the net, and some net embroidery stitches and motifs.

Project Gutenberg has Beeton's Encyclopedia online, which has quite a lot of filet, which she calls "guipure d'art". How to do the net starts with p 301,
and guipure d'art (the embroidery part) starts on p 503

In this one the netting starts on page 77 

Video of a Hungarian fisherman making a net the old way.

Exhaustive description of how to make the various nets: diamonds, rounds, square etc. Rita Bartholomew

A source for books, materials and tools:
Another supplier:

Other sources: very good, very SLOW mesh making   start   begin next row   increasing at end of row

Margaret Morgan published a very good book last year called "Filet Lace: Stitches & Patterns" Milner Craft Series.   2006 by Sally Milner Publishing Pty. Ltd., Bowral, NSW, 2576,  Australia
An excellent book with clear instructions and diagrams, and it takes you though in easy stages from elementary to more advanced. shows the various types of filet lace, too - 


Marie-Jo Quinault "Filet Lace - Introduction to the Linen Stitch" Clear diagrams on how to map out your pathway for working this lace, and lots of patterns too.


Contains a list of netting booklets:

filet lace, filet lacis, filet guipure, filet noue, Filet Arbeiten, Gipuer, filet brode, Filet Richelieu, filet d'art, guipure d'art, dentelle de Cluny. All of these names apply to laces made on knotted net. But Buratto, or Burato, is the name used for embroidery on square net which is not knotted ( a woven fabric with visible spaces between the threads).

Discussion Forum

Filet Lace 8 Replies

Hi! A friend found a book at the library called "Renaissance Patterns for Lace, Embroidery and Needlepoint" by Federico Vinciolo and Apparently the patterns are reprints from books originally printed…Continue

Started by Elizabeth Barber. Last reply by Elizabeth Barber Apr 15, 2012.

BOOKS ON FILET and embroidering it 1 Reply

If you come across any books on filet lacis, please post a review here. Or if you have any of the books listed above, comments on their contents and usefulness would be helpful. Please post as a…Continue

Tags: filet, books, filet lacis books

Started by Lorelei Halley. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti. Oct 27, 2010.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Jenny on April 3, 2018 at 8:26pm

By the way Arlene, your cloth is lovely. I certainly would have had a good look at it if I had spotted it somewhere

Comment by Jenny on April 3, 2018 at 8:24pm

Here in Australia I have seen quite a few filet cloths similar to this selling in op shops and the like for far less than they are worth. Although beautifully worked, the fiber is very rough and the joins are very visible. I just assumed that they have come out of China, or somewhere similar,  for cheap sale, then ended up in the op shops when a family cleans out a house. Wherever they have come from, I feel that they have been cheap labour to produce for a commercial market as there are too many of them all similar.

In the op shops here, hand worked doilies of any kind go for a song while the commercially produced ones have a much higher price. I have picked up some beautiful pieces for as little as 50 cents. I have been seen sitting on the floor of op shops going right through baskets of doilies looking for that 'special' one. I have to look, I never know what I find.

Comment by Arlene Cohen on March 29, 2018 at 9:48am

Thank you so much, Lorelei, for all your information.  I will try getting in touch with Rita - her website is so interesting!  Also have been exploring some of the resources listed here.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on March 28, 2018 at 5:39pm

Arlene -- It is definitely hand made lacis. Your most recent photos are very good, so we can see the detail. I would say that it is worth far more than $25 now. But the public has no idea of the amount of work involved in making something like this.

If this was made by someone for their own use in their own home, that person was very skilled, and must have made lots more pieces than just this one. Because of the size of the piece, and the amount of work, I think it was mostly likely made by someone who intended to sell it. I have no idea what kind of price this could have sold for when it was made.

I don't know of any way of telling where, in Europe, it was made. I don't know that much about this particular type of lace.

Possibly Rita Bartholomew at  might have more to say.

Comment by Arlene Cohen on March 28, 2018 at 7:26am

Thank you so very much for your insights, Lorelei!  Here are a few more pictures.

So, do you think a piece like this was made by someone or some company, specifically to be sold as a handmade piece?  When you say "European import", where do you think it was made? Any thoughts on how much someone would have paid for it at the time it was made?   Not likely made by someone sitting at home, just to have in their own home?  I paid $25 for it.  I have a somewhat similar piece of filet lace, much smaller, rectangular table scarf, that I think I paid $10 for at some point (either eBay or antiques mall).  Are these just cases where handmade work is just not appreciated?

So, so appreciate your knowledge and your thoughts here!

Comment by Lorelei Halley on March 27, 2018 at 3:30pm

A collection of filet lacis photos, one of my pinterest boards.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on March 27, 2018 at 3:27pm

Arlene - It is a beautiful piece. It does look handmade. But the photos aren't quite close up enough to see individual threads. I would have to see individual threads to be sure that it is handmade.

As for where it was made: I think China-for-export is highly unlikely. I have a piece of Chinese needle lace and the design is a real tell-tale. The Chinese may do flawless work but when they try to design western crafts they tend to simplify in a way that western artisans wouldn't. This design looks perfectly reasonable for western European or American work. It lacks the unloveliness of Chinese design.

I have seen a lot of amateur filet work, as it seems to have been very popular here in the early 20th century. But this piece is far better quality than the typical. It might actually be a European import, rather than American-made. My only reason for saying that is that this piece is not amateur work, not simplified and small scale, for a beginner.

So, not Chinese, probably not American amateur, possibly a European import. 

Comment by Arlene Cohen on March 27, 2018 at 9:16am

Hello, all!  I recently purchased a filet lace table cloth - round, about 4 1/2 feet in diameter.  For everything I can tell, it certainly looks hand made.  I have the Margaret Morgan book reference above and have made a few pieces from it, so I have some knowledge of filet lace, although am certainly no expert.  I've seen pieces like the one I purchased in antique malls and on eBay, never for too much money and common enough that I just am trying to learn more.  Specifically, is this actually something made in this country in the early part of the 20th century by women in the same way that quilting and other needle arts were popular?  Or is this more likely to have been created in a sweatshop-China-for-export-in-more-modern-times kind of thing?  Any thoughts would be appreciated!  Thanks!

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on May 4, 2017 at 11:15pm

I have had trouble with this eye for many, many years, so I have learned to live with it!!  I just thought that I should take it a bit more easy until I finish seeing the surgeon in a month's time.

I am also fixed on finishing this tatted doily - from a Russian design, so I have one less UFO!!!  I am trying to be sensible, and productive....!!!  It's a good thing Russian figures are the same as ours, as their letters do not mean anything to me!!  At least there is a reasonable diagram , too!!

I have plans for a competition entry for the Australian Lace Guild competition next year, so I am doing some "heavy thinking" and planning. whether it eventuates - well, we will see!!!   I have been browsing a couple of the Filet lace books from 1920s  and picked up a couple of ideas to add to the mix!  Now to work out how to do them!!!!

Comment by Julie Thomson on May 4, 2017 at 10:53pm

Gee,that's no good. I hope you get a good result. We are having our first great grandchild, so keeping busy crocheting. 


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