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 Devon Thein on May 13, 2010 at 8:00pm
I confess I do not have familiarity with making Aemilia Ars. As far as I know it is a revival lace made in Bologna by the Aemilia Ars Society in the late 19th and early 20th century made to duplicate the laces of the 17th century. They used the original pattern books from the 1600's as did the early lace makers. Their copies of the work were extremely good and are no doubt misattributed to the 17th century in many museums. I believe they did make things that looked like the early punto in aria as well as things that looked like reticella. I have a book in front of me Un bordo aemilia ars and the patterns all look a little more like reticella in their geometrical effect. However, there are some little flowers inserted here and there. I am sure they were making very good renditions of punto in aria, as well as reticella, and probably in the same way, although who knows exactly how they made it in the 17th century? Whether it is correct to say that Aemilia Ars is the same as punto in aria, I don't know. They may be made the same way, but one was being made in the 1600's and one is a classification, like Ruskin lace, that only arrived in the 19th century and refers, or referred to a very specific industry. If Aemilia Ars is being made again, then it is a revival of a revival, and whether it is exactly like the Aemilia Ars of the late 19th, early 20th century, I do not know. Good questions for the Aemilia Ars group, I guess.
Comment by Lorelei Halley on May 13, 2010 at 5:23pm
So then, Devon, your description seems to be saying that punto in aria is the same as aemilia ars? Am I right in thinking that aemilia ars is worked outward from a central thread, and is worked using the trace method (tiny tack stitches made at junctions and then the outline thread threaded through the tacking threads). I'm just hoping to develop an understanding of what these different words mean, so we can have a terminology that we all understand and agree on.
Comment by Devon Thein on May 13, 2010 at 8:35am

It is quite common in books for people to state that Reticella is made on a fabric base and that the innovation of departing from the fabric to laying threads is then called punto in aria. This seems a neat distinction and easy to explain. Yet, the geometric lace that looks like Reticella can be made either way, and it takes a magnifying glass to tell the difference. Consequently, I am not really sure that "purists" are right in calling one piece of geometrical lace Reticella, and another piece that looks exactly the same, Punto in Aria. I think it is and should be considered a sylistic, not necessarily technical category. In our museum, the term Punto in Aria is used to describe a very small number of pieces. An example is found in Levey, Figure 71 B. They are the flowers that go along the edge of the strip, not the strip. The term Punto in Aria seems to mean, in the context of our classification system, pieces of lace that are built on laid threads, not forming a grid like pattern, but constructed like reticella, in other words, worked outward from a central thread, as in reticella. This is distinct from the practice of laying outline threads and filling them in with stitches which is what I consider to be the norm in needlelace. I think by the time you get to the pieces that are made by laying the condonet as an outline and filling it in, you would call it needle lace, not punto in aria. Arguably, if Punto in Aria is everything made with laid threads, all the needlelaces, such as Gros Point, Alencon, etc. are Punto in Aria. Here is a photo from a private collection of what our museum would call punto in aria.
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on May 12, 2010 at 10:33pm
Lorelei, I am Very sloppy, - and call All this type of lace Reticella.
I think the Purists call Reticella the lace that is made within a piece of fabric, and Punto in Aria the lace that is made Without the fabric. I believe this is the original use of the words, - but nowadays that distinction has faded a bit.
Ruskin lace is a similar lace that is made within a piece of fabric, and is a more modern type - Ruskin tried to get work for the English in the late 1800s I believe (must look it up!) and it was named after him.

My "Radical Reticella" has more than the regulation 4 sides! I had a piece of reticella in a Proficiency Assessment with the Australian Lace Guild, and it was criticized as not being True Reticella. When I got the co-ordinator to ask the Assors what they meant (as I got the piece out of a Reticella book!) - I was told it was a square with a circular design in the centre. Well, Vinciolo, the 16th C. lace designer, whose book is still available, has some designs that are figurative, not with a circular centre!! Ah Well, - I passed, anyway, but...!!! :)
Comment by Lorelei Halley on May 12, 2010 at 7:36pm
Your "radical reticella" pieces are all very interesting. What exactly, then is the difference between "punto in aria" and "reticella". I would have called the 2 recently posted photos "punto in aria". How do you think of the distinction?
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on May 9, 2010 at 11:46pm
This is a fun way to start needlelace, and is the earliest form of needlelace.
I work my reticella as Punto in Aria - without the fabric, just the lace on its own.
I like to lay the outline over All the lines, which takes a bit of working out, but then the lace is half finished already!
A few years ago I got sucked into a challenge to make a columbine (aquilegia, granny bonnet) in this type of lace. 10 petals don't go into an 8 sectioned piece, - and I eventually came up with a 5 sided piece. It was nicknamed my Radical Reticella, and the name has stuck. I will post a photo on the photos page! I also made a 6 sided piece with gumleaves.
Comment by Lorelei Halley on May 8, 2010 at 5:17pm
Would one of our members who is interested in this form please take over as administrator for this group. Contact me and I'll fix it.

Members (103)


© 2021   Created by Lorelei Halley.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service