Reticella-reticello Punto in Aria


Reticella-reticello Punto in Aria

For all our members who want to advance in reticello needlelace. Learn reticello needle lace. Learn reticella needlelace. Point coupe, punto tagliato.  We include embroidered reticella AND punto in aria (geometric needle lace).. Both use the same fillings.

Members: 103
Latest Activity: Apr 11

Resources for Reticella

These are some resources for learning reticella/reticello.


Guida al ricamo reticello e merlatto venziano  "A great book with wonderfully clear photros of each stage of the work."


Giuliana Buonpadre: "Gli Andichi  Il Reticello" published in 2005. Jenny says:

Her books only seem to be available through her. Check out her web pages at   Go to the books tab, then right down the bottom she gives info on prices & how to obtain them.


Virginia Bonfiglioli Chiavegato:  Punto in Àere, Antico Merletto ad ago di Bologna.  Publ by  RE Enzo Editrice, 2003. pages: 120.  Language: Italian

Carmelina says: It's totally ilustrated, with patterns from beginners to experts. She gives indications about fix the lace to the fabric. The graphics are big with very clear instructions (if you speak italian, I've been translating them to spanish). The patterns have numeration for the execution. The graphics are done by Sergio Chiavegato and seem engineering work: perfect.  The photos are lovely with precious examples of reticello and punto in àere. I have no doubt that it's a very useful book.


Ricci, Elisa. Old Italian Lace, Vol. 1 part 5 has photos of some reticello samplers with a variety of motifs that could be copied.

Devon says: "look for Ostaus, Parasole and Vinciolo to find scanned copies of 19th century reprints of the original 17th and 16th century pattern books which feature reticello and punto in aria designs of unquestionable authenticity."


Laura Marzorati: Guida al ricamo Reticello e merletto veneziano, and Guida al ricamo Reticello Liberty


Paola Barbieri, Il Reticello interpretato da Paola Barbieri, published by the Associazione Il Punto Antico. You can purchase directly from the Edizioni Il Punto Antico website with PayPal or a credit card. You can request a French or English insert when you order.

There are step-by-step photos, good diagrams, works in progress, 11 different delicious projects, many filling stitches. (Review taken from Italian Needlework website by Jeanine in Canada.)


This  is a step by step beginners guide to a Reticella type lace  but worked within fabric after the cut out squares are stitched around.  Her photographs and diagrams of each step are very clear, and she takes  Small steps so the complete novice can understand what is what!   It progresses with clear instructions on how to cut away and make the grid, to step by step instructions on how to fill the grid with a variety of motifs.


There are 15 motifs shown, and corners and an edge,  and at the end of the book are some patterns for more complex designs. Her samples show multiple motifs arranged within the same piece to make a variety of patterns. Includes instructions for Left-handed workers too.


ONLINE SOURCES FOR PATTERNS:  Look for Dillmont, C.M. Ricci and Hardouin, which have some patterns for simple and complex geometric lace motifs.

Hardouin ALBUM DE DENTELLE DE VENISE.  Part 1 is geometric, part 2 curvilinear

Ricci, Cleofe Mingarelli DISEGNI DI TRAFORI

Novo, Giardineto. Punti Tagliati [Cutwork], Matthio Pagan, 1550 

Dillmont, Thérèse de. Needle-Made Laces; 1st Series, D.M.C, 1900. Part 1 is geometric laces.

(The Needlemade Laces of Reticella"  by  J. and K. Kliot is a reprint of the last item, part 1 of Dillmont's NEEDLE MADE LACES) ;


WEBSITES AND ONLINE TUTORIALS: ;     "Promoting the craft of historically designed needle lace."

Has 1 relatively simple design for practice near the end.  This one has a different pattern, and is worked in the needle lace manner (fabric is only a temporary scaffold).  A photo of a sampler of fillings made into a pillow.  Enlargements show enough detail that they could be copied easily.


Basic tutorial in Punto Antico (antique cutwork) 


For book reviews in Italian see below.  She has shut down her website and moved to the blog format.  This one has clear instructions about how to prepare the openwork squares. 


Silvia has a tutorial on her blog for a simple reticella design worked in the aemilia ars method. There are 5 parts, and here they are sequentially:


For Sylvia's newest reticella tutorial, see

Lefkara Lace Embroidery by Androula Hadjiyiasemi --  Mary Corbett reviews it on her website: 


For Italian names of various kinds of cutwork and drawn thread work, see .  Look under tecnichi.


Ruskin work is one variety of geometric cutwork that is similar to reticella: 

Reticella embroidery, showing the steps in order: 

A great tutorial on how to make the little oval spots, with a very clear diagram    Look near the bottom of the page.



Discussion Forum

Reticella Finished! 15 Replies


Tags: reticello, reticella

Started by Eve Zelinsky. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Oct 11, 2020.

Patterns and Projects 10 Replies

I was wondering if anyone had good resources for patterns/projects for early reticello. I have Buonpadre's first reticello book and I am currently using that book to make a sampler drawn from an old…Continue

Started by Eve Zelinsky. Last reply by Kathleen Minniti Oct 6, 2020.

Books and online resources 11 Replies

I would like our members to comment on and list books and resources they know of for this form of needlelace - reticella.  When we get enough responses, I'll add it all to the box above.  I think it…Continue

Started by Lorelei Halley. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Aug 17, 2017.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Reticella-reticello Punto in Aria to add comments!

Comment by Lorelei Halley on March 27, 2020 at 5:39pm

If this is the kind of thing you are thinking of, here are a few places online where I have explained it. 

If you are thinking of embroidered geometric cutwork, then Jennie's explanation involving using an embroidery hoop is apropos.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on March 27, 2020 at 5:32pm

There may be some confusion regarding the term "reticella". It is my impression that this term is used for a geometric cutwork embroidery, where holes are cut into the fabric, with the edges of the holes secured somehow (usually with 4 sided stitch and satin stitches. There is also a purely needlelace form of this work, which uses the same lace fillings as this cutwork embroidery. This needle lace form would be called "punto in aria", I think. It uses the multi-layer sandwich as a temporary scaffold to support the work while in process. 

So my question is: are you intending to do the geometric cutwork embroidery, or the purely needlelace version, with geometric designs?

An example of the latter, that I worked is this one.

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on March 25, 2020 at 10:03pm

I use Calico as a base for all my needlelace projects. (I think it is called Muslin in USA) I use 4 layers, as then the little couching stitches stay firmer, and it is easier, I find, to cut the couching stitches, at the end of the project, between 2 layers in each hand, as the stitches don't 'sink in" so much.  I do Not hem around the fabric. Raw edges are usually OK. If the fabric is the type that frays a lot, then I cut the fabric on the cross!  I always cover my pattern with contact, so no ink gets onto the lace.

Comment by Jenny on March 25, 2020 at 7:01pm

Hello Ann,

When you are talking reticella, are you talking about setting up a framework like with needle lace?

I have done some reticella using even weave fabric as a base. I usually leave 6 threads, and cut maybe 8 for my grid, Though this can change depending on the base fabric. It all depends on the size of the open squares that I need. I always  test to make sure I am getting what I  want. It may depend on the end purpose too, table linen will need to be strong.  I then strengthen the remaining grid threads  with needle weaving. All the time using a hoop. Once the framework is done, then I work the fillings.

I have done some needle lace, but only small amounts with Margaret Stevens. I have layered two layers of Calico, the paper design, then a layer of contact. The contact will let you see the design underneath, and give you a smooth surface for the needle to slide easier. 

I suggest that you contact Margaret, she is a needle lace teacher here in Australia and has written a book on Reticella. I did an Aemeilia Ars class with her some years ago. The groundwork of this work might be what you are looking for. She is a lovely lady and very helpful. She is also a member of this group.

Good luck.

Comment by Ann Meyer on March 25, 2020 at 6:58pm

Thank, you, Kristine Curtis.  I appreciate this.  I am in Virginia, USA, and hope to go to Ireland one day soon.  I hope to go to Kenmare, Limerick, Clones, Mountmellick--hit all the high spots for Irish needle lace and crochet lace.  And thanks for your support on my frustration.  If you learned sitting next to someone, then this first step probably is clear.  It's one of those things where you need to be shown.  I have found Modern Maker video on his website good, though again he brushes through this step (telling us what you need, but not showing, or telling us why).  I am also looking more closely at Grace's Lace.  Can anyone tell me where I can purchase good linen thread 40/2 or 20/2 in the US?  I have the sense that all linen threads are not made equally.  Thank you.

Comment by Kristine Curtis on March 25, 2020 at 6:48pm

Ann Meyer:  I understand your frustration as I have tried to teach myself different needle laces and don't understand the first steps either!  However, as I read your posting I remembered a resource.  Twenty years ago I spent a day at the Kenmare Lace and Design Centre in Kenmare, Ireland. Nora Ferguson demonstrated different types of needle lace in addition to Kenmare lace.  I just now googled "kenmare lace" and found a couple videos and info from before 2009 but they show some techniques.  If Nora is not still at the Centre, perhaps there is someone there who could help you get started. They do have a website. Good luck!

Comment by Ann Meyer on March 25, 2020 at 5:31pm

Thanks for the comment Lorelei.  I have purchased a lot of books on needle lace and I scour the internet for tutorials.  I have trouble at the get go, with the scaffolding / sandwich.  Different needle laces seem to require different scaffolding.  Book and online sources do not spend enough time on this most basic first step.  Some seem to be two layers, others up to five layers, with folding, etc.  Some say more than one layer of cloth.  Others mention using mylar or a clear film (though if these are meant for the same purpose in the layer, I find that confusing; they have different thicknesses).  So, I am still searching for a clear explanation and a list of what I need for this and why.  I am searching for a specific list of materials (the best choices).  I am working on Carickmacross kit from Tanja Berlin, but this is really applique.  I want to understand how this scaffolding should work with punto aria  and/or reticella.  I am so frustrated with all of the different sources.  This first step of needlelace seems to be brushed over quickly, with the assumption that viewers would understand, but this is all new to me.  I think once I get past this (and understand the reasons for different ways) I will fly.  Can anyone help? Thanks in advance.  I am in No. Virginia.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on March 25, 2020 at 4:24pm


If you can't find a live teacher near you, do try some of the links above. There are very good materials online, and also good books.

Comment by Ann Meyer on March 23, 2020 at 6:48pm

 Is there anyone in Virginia who teaches reticella and other similar laces?  I am searching for in-person instruction, at least to get off to a really solid start.  I have several years of surface embroidery, but I find I am mostly drawn to reticello and ars punto and other similar historical needle laces.  Thank you for your replies.

Comment by Robert on February 22, 2020 at 7:50am

Inspiring video.  Thanks Carolyn!


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