“Say Cheese” Bronson Lace Napkins

by Sandra Hutton


Sandy Hutton created these delicate napkins as a gift with the color inspiration coming from the mug included in the picture. The napkins are 4-end Bronson lace outlined with black and yellow. Bronson lace is so beautiful because the structure creates little windows that are stabilized with a plain weave thread on each side. With 4-thread units A is 1,3,1,2 and B is 1,4,1,2. The foundation thread is on shaft 1, the tie-down thread is on shaft 2 and pattern threads are on the other shafts. The treadling is weft-faced lace.

This napkin shows how borders can highlight motifs in a textile. Sandy used a technique called “ladder hemstitching” on all 4 borders by inserting a 3/2 spacer thread vertically and horizontally during the weaving that was later removed. The horizontal hemstitching took place while on the loom, binding 4 warp threads together to make this decorative border. The vertical hemstitching was done after the napkin was off the loom.

The hems on all 4 sides were turned back and invisibly hand stitched to the edge of the ladder hemstitching so that you can’t tell the right side from the wrong side. This border and hem treatment is a time consuming technique but it definitely adds to the heirloom quality of the textile. A good reference for hemstitching is Finishing Touches for the Handweaver by Virginia West.

Sandra Hutton also wove the white-on-white towel shown in the main photo, which contains mixed structures of 2/2 basket, 1/4 satin, 1/3 twill and 3/1 twill. The pattern source was Falcot’s Weave Compendium, edited by Ann Sutton, p. 144, #13 (instructions not included).

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Download Say Cheese Bronson Lace PDF

Structure: 4-end Bronson Lace, 8 shaft
Warp: 20/2 white cotton, 20/2 black cotton, 5/2 yellow cotton, 3/2 spacer
Weft: Same as warp
Warp sett: 30 ends per inch, 15 dent reed, 2 ends per dent
Width in reed: 22.4″
Dimensions after hemming and wet finishing: 17.5″ x 17.5″