Gros Point

Gros point needle lace is a lace with raised, and decorated cordonettes. It is supposed to look like carved ivory.  For those who want to learn it or to study the details of its construction in antique examples.  Historical antique form was called Venetian gros point needle lace.

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Latest Activity: Mar 14

Resources for Gros Point


Catherine Barley NEEDLELACE, DESIGNS AND TECHNIQUES, CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY. Batsford 1993, reprinted 2003.  Contains a chapter on technique and several patterns.

Nenia Lovesey and Catherine Barley VENETIAN GROS POINT LACE. Dryad 1986. Stitch diagrams are clear, but description of how to make the padded roll is not satisfactory.  Quite a few nice motifs.

Nenia Lovesey INTRODUCTION TO NEEDLEPOINT LACE, Larousse 1985. Has a chapter on raised work.

ONLINE RESOURCES  This chapter contains needlelace stitch diagrams and diagrams for bars  (in the context of tape laces, but the stitches and bars are the same).

This is a link to a free download of superb close-up photos of a highly sculpted Venetian Gros Point.  File is 4.2 mb.  Clicking on it will immediately start the download. ; 


The Retournac gros point symposium  See the bottom of the page for links to several pdf files, photos of brides, fillings, decorative holes (portes) and a few old laces.

photos of lace grounds

Discussion Forum

Punto Cologna 5 Replies

I've just noticed that in Cologna Veneta, a small town near Verona, Italy, there is a lace school where they make Punto Cologna, which is very similar to the Gros Point.In my blog…Continue

Started by Silvia. Last reply by Christiane Machabée Nov 21, 2015.

Stitches of gros point needle lace 4 Replies

Last night I picked up a sampler I started nearly 2 years ago. It has been nearly that long since I last worked on it. It was supposed to be a sampler of gros point stitches.  So I was devoured by an…Continue

Tags: gros point, gros point needle lace stitches, stitches of gros point

Started by Lorelei Halley. Last reply by Lorelei Halley May 15, 2014.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Gros Point to add comments!

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on April 11, 2010 at 12:36pm
Thanks, Devon. I was hoping that you'd take a look for me. I too am confused about forums vs. groups--I didn't realize there had been that whole discussion in a forum, which I have now read. Your photos are very convincing. I agree that mine must be a 19th C piece. I amazed, however, at how much work they were putting into these pieces in the 19th C when the industrial revolution had made labor somewhat scarcer.
Are people in the Gros Point group still interested in closeups of the individual motifs as basis for patterns, or do you want pictures primarily from the really old pieces?
Comment by Devon Thein on April 11, 2010 at 12:16pm
I am guessing 19th century. I just added some photos of a piece from my own collection, which while lacking the raised areas, has a very similar look. It was sold to me as a 19th century piece and, from having seen and collected for a while, I believe it is a 19th century piece. Meanwhile, I am also posting a picture of a piece sold to me as 17th century. I am also inclined to believe this designation, because of the condition of the piece. The lace is yellow. The stitches are actually cracking from brittleness. It is many motifs sewn together, lacking a cohesive vine like design. It is very hard to find old pieces of Venetian Gros Point, or Rose Point that have not been thus drastically altered. I think it is due to wanting to reuse motifs that were still intact within laces that were in poor condition. It might have had something to do with remaking to suit 19th century fashions. One author, and I wish I recall her name, ascribed the cutting up of Gros Point and refashioning it in this way as due to "pure wickedness". In any case, it is extremely rare to find an unaltered piece of 17th century Gros Point.
At the risk of flogging a dead horse, I have included close-ups that demonstrate my assertion, carried over from Gros Point Forum (I am having a hard time distinguishing between groups and forums, I guess.) If you look closely at the back of the motifs, the raised portions that are on the interior sections are, in my opinion, made separately and added to the lace. While it is not so clear with the edge raising, I continue to believe that the highly built up edges were not worked over the lace in the way of customary low cordonnets, and as frequently illustrated in modern books, but in some other fashion, possibly separately. I am also going to post the pictures of my other piece of Gros Point, front and back, that I mentioned in Forum, but which did not appear as photos.
Comment by Nancy A. Neff on April 11, 2010 at 10:04am
Thank you very much for the identification and the comments. I'm more familiar with antique bobbin lace than I am with needlelace, especially the Gros Point group of laces, but I'm not convinced yet either way about the age of the piece. On one hand, it doesn't appear to have been used and it has definitely neven been washed. It's not limp enough or "pulled in" enough to have ever been washed. Plus I can see tiny pieces of the thread that held the piece to the backing material as it was being worked. This "freshness" makes it feel like 19th century to me.

On the other hand, it is a length (almost 18") cut at both ends, so from a longer length. There are damaged areas along the footside (if you use that term for straight needlelaces?) and one spot along the footside that appears to have been loosely mended with sewing thread. You can see from the penny how detailed the design is--from even a short distance it looks much more homogenous than the larger Gros Point that I thought was what was typically done as the 19th century "copies". The overall effect to me is much more like the 16th C bobbin laces. The color is a darker tan than it appears in the photos, about the color of a "blonde" wood such as ash or birch--it looks like darkening from age to me.

So I guess I'm leaning towards a very well preserved, never washed, older piece (mostly on the "feel" of the design and scale), but I also realize that could easily be a bad case of wishful thinking!
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on April 10, 2010 at 10:50pm
I don't think it is very old either. 19th century, is my gut feeling.
However - it is a beaut piece of lace. Lucky you, Nancy!

I understood that in the 17th century, when Gros Point was at its peak, the Spanish tried to copy it, but they did the "worms"not the "crescents". I saw, in a museum, a piece that was bobbin lace tapes with the needlelace cordonettes stitched on, so from a distance, it looked like Gros Point!!!
These days the term Gros Point is often used for all these raised laces - Gros Point, Rose Point, etc. (I am bad at using it to cover all these laces, I know!) But then we come back to terminology - Rose point, - some think it means the smaller designs, some say it means Raised point, etc.!! Here we go again!!!!!! :) But I agree with Rochelle, I, too would call this piece Rose Point. However it is one of the plainer rose points. Some have extraordinary embellishments!
Comment by Rochelle Sutherland on April 10, 2010 at 7:55pm
This is Rose point, and I am really excited to see it because it is a very unappreciated lace and one of my favourites. I will be studying these photos carefully. How old I can't say without feeling and looking at it. It is not one of the 'copies' that came later in history.
Comment by Lorelei Halley on April 10, 2010 at 3:48pm
One reason I think this is not that old is that the padded parts don't vary in thickness. Each one is a consistent thickness for its whole circuit. The really old stuff would have a ring or crescent very thick on one segment, but not so much on the other half.
Comment by Lorelei Halley on April 10, 2010 at 3:44pm
I'm not an expert on needlelace, but I don't think this is historic gros point. It has the feel of a revival era copy or re-creation, circa late 1800s to early 1900s.
Comment by Nancy A. Neff on April 10, 2010 at 3:20pm
I've just uploaded four photos of a piece of antique lace I bought recently. Both and the seller are quite uncertain about its age. It "feels" old, is made of linen, but is very fine--much smaller scale than I associate with historical Gro Pointe. I wondered what members thought about the possible age and origin of this piece? Thanks.
Comment by Lorelei Halley on April 5, 2010 at 1:57pm
For those who haven't seen this, below is a link to images of an antique Ventian gros point needle lace. Clicking on it will immediately start the download. The file is about 4 mb.
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on April 1, 2010 at 9:42pm
the photo is of a pendant I made some years ago.
I hope some others will share some photos and comments about this "queen of needle laces".
It is the most fun to work, as it leaves so much to the imagination with regards to the embellishments.

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