LACE is a delicate fabric made out of yarns with spaces in it . The fabric is very web like . Lace is generally not a new type of material and was originally often made from SILK or yarn . It was first recorded /depicted in paintings dating back to the 16 century, some historical patrons/lace makers include Giovanna Dandolo 1457–1462 Barbara Uthmann 1514–1575 Morosina Morosini 1545–1614 Federico de Vinciolo sixteenth-century  .Although lace  is not a new material contemporary artists have found new ways of creating different types of lace.  Some using wire and some copper , a popular contemporary  lace maker is   Rosa Elena Egipciaco


White Lace ,pictured by me at the curtain shop 'LINEN' in Woolwhich Arsenal .


Photograph of Rosa Elena Egipciaco, image courtesy of

"Rosa Elena Egipciaco, often referred to as the 'Queen of Mundillo', is a master Mundillo lacemaker and teacher of this Puerto Rican folk art. She creates lace using traditional Spanish and European bobbin lacemaking methods."



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After BOILING, BLEACHING,UNRAVELLING,UNIFYING ,DYEING ,the thousands of silk worm cocoons yarn is formed from the cocoons of the silk worm. This yarn is then used to create LACE.


SOME USES FOR LACE INCLUDE;DOILIES,FASHION ,CURTAINS,RELIGIOUS PURPUSOSES, one single historical (fashion) item lace was popular for was the RUFF.

The ruff was the single largest user of lace, and the wearing of a ruff pretty much defines the Elizabethan age. In the 1560's the ruff had evolved into a large separate article of clothing tied on by strings that was introduced to England from France.1500's ruffs were almost entirely of lace, and because it came in narrow strips several had to be sewn together to form to make a large ruff which had to be supported by both starch and wire frames."Ruffs, on the whole were white, but were could be coloured with vegetable dye and were either pink, yellow or sometimes mauve. A pale blue colour was popular but Elizabeth disliked it and issued a statement" deterring it.



Elizabethan neck ruff with lace overlay made in white.

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16th Century Venetian Noble gown, made of damask and trimmed with lace ruffs and pearls.

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Johnathan Simkhai Spring New York  Fashion week-Lace image courtesy of -

The pattern I see visible in this spiral web above resembles the human eye and the iris


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Bombyx mori up close ,image curtesy of -


The anatomy of the human eye , image courtesy of

It would be interesting to see how the human's eye anatomy compared to that of the Bombyx Mori or any other insect or animal with compound  eyes. I am further very fond of the colours and shades used in this diagram , colours that were used in the original ruff mentioned earlier are all present MAUVE,PINK,BLUE,RED ,YELLOW I might consider this to be my colour scheme throughout the rest of this project.


Compound eye close ups , showing the hairs on a compound eye ,image courtesy of -




"Visual Acuity- insects only contain 7 to 11 sensory cells and for dragonflies which consist of 30000 ommatidia (which is considered the highest) has only  While humans already contains 175000 sensory cells per square meters alone. This allows human eyes to detect greater spatial resolution.

Contrast- In dim light, an optical system needs to collect more light in order to see clearer. In general insects especially those diurnal ones are limited by the small apertures of each ommatidium in the compound eye, hence detect weak contrast especially in bright daylight or dim light. .


Colors- Color vision in humans depends upon the three types of opsins- red, green, blue.  Most insects  can see ultraviolet and see the plane of polarization of light ."-

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"Insect view of flower meadow. A wild flower meadow viewed through an insect's compound eye. The image is a mosaic made up of small sections, representing the numerous visual units (called ommatidia) which make up a compound eye.  The view from an insect's compound eye is not as sharply focused as that of a lens-eye (such as a human eye). However, the field of view is much wider: about 70 degrees compared to 5 degrees for human vision.

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 17 Year old Grace pictured before and after tumor removal. Image courtesy of -



 Xray scan of Grace's face with Tumour image courtesy-


Grace's case is an extreme one , her tumor had grown to "the size of a football" as the daily mail described. In the scan one can easily observe how attached the tumor is to all the other structures and tissues in Grace's face. The tumour has completely destroyed her teeth and jaws and is attached to vital veins. The fact that the tumor is on her face made the prospect of removing her tumour the more risky , due to the proximity to the brain.Also the tumor had been developing for so many years that it had now become a solid part of Grace's body.

Related image

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(designer anonymous )

The sleeves of this garment are further inspiring to me , they do not follow the normal silhouette of the arm , instead appear more bulky or swollen , as if tumors have grown on the arms in a sequence.


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Here is a cancerous cell splitting and duplicating. The image is quite explosive and I really love the colors in this image . I find that these are the colors I will be working with , Pinks , Purples , and golds(or coppers) as well as white.

Since lace evolved from several techniques, it is hard to say that it originated in any one place. Towards the end of the 16th century there was a rapid development of lace, both needle lace and bobbin lace became dominant in both fashion as well as home décor.



White lace pictured by me at the curtain shop 'LINEN' in Woolwhich.

LACE is a material as mentioned earlier which can be made out of many materials ,The material I want to focus on is SILK , one of the earliest materials used for lace and one which is made by another living creature.



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left; a silkworm feeding on mulberry leaves right; a silk work beginning to spin its silk cocoon


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Here is an image of many collected  silkworm  cocoons ready in wooden baskets to spin silk from. I find this image quite beautiful , however what has happened to the pupa inside this cocoon is also rather saddening.

it has spun the silk cocoon around itself in order to evolve into a moth and to protect it self from predators in this process , however only made itself more attractive to a new predator.US .


Wire which holds the ruff in place, image curtesy of


Portrait by Michiel Jansz van Miereveldt of Elizabeth Queen of Bohemia 1623 ,wearing a lace ruff


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Ashley Smith's 2011 ,modern twist on the Elizebethen Fashion aestehic . Look at the RUFF ,it doesn't appear to be made out of lace buy I love the colours in this shot and the volume and layers in the Ruff.



Article from- New York Times 2016 Spring  Fashion week ,image courtesy of -

Here are two of  Johnathon Simkhai lace garments from his 2016 runway  collection, demonstrating that although lace is a material used hundreds of years ago that it is still very fashionable, perhaps timeless.

The garment structure itself appears very simple , I feel this is due to the fact that the lace itself is already very detailed and nearly even decorative , a more dramatic structure could therefore have made the garment, too much and just plain tacky .I feel that in case I make a garment out of my textiles in the end that I should keep this in mind ,and really consider the placing and use of space in my work , to separate any lace or lace inspired work instead of just allowing the textiles to overpower the entire garment in a unflattering manner.


I find the 'Bombyx Mori' very beautiful is  .Like many insects or bugs the Bombyx mori has compound eyes. Since lace reminds me of webs ,which remind me of eyes it would be interesting to look into the eyes of the creature that allows for lace to be made in the first place.



Bombyx mori moth full body ,image curtesy of



Above; Anatomy of the compound eye of an insect ,image curtesy of

Here is a scientific diagram of the  compound eye which is the type of eye the Bombyx Mori has. I find it interesting to find out about the build of the eye and how it differs from the human eye also. I find that the diagram itself is visually pleasing and could easily be translated into a repeat print. The colours used in the diagram further match majority of the colours that I have previously  extracted from the research at a earlier stage , when looking at ruffs and the colours ruffs were often dyed.


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LI Songh, Glasses for Compound Eyes (Exhibition View),Acrylic, glasses, 2006 ,24 November 2006 - 26 January 2007



"Human view of flower meadow. The image is sharply focused only in the middle and becomes more blurred towards the left and right extremities. The human eye can only sharply focus on the central 5 degrees of vision at any one time.

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 "If we take the technology of a compound eye, appearing on many insects, and applied it to the requirement for human eyesight we would get an eye that is extremely large.

Then if we allow the resolution to fall off with angle the eye is still so large that it would dominate the human head.This is shown on the above Figure."

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Young Child with swollen head courtesy- Image courtesy of Barcroft .com 

"Day-by-day, her head started growing bigger, she stopped wanting to eat, she would just lie in bed, it became very difficult for us to carry her and take her anywhere," says Roona's father Abdul Rehman says.
Roona's head grew to a circumference of 94 centimeters, almost triple the size of a normal baby.-
The image of what the human would look like with the compound eye resembled a swollen or over sized head, which reminded me of the case of 18 month old Roona (pictured above) who has a severely swollen head. The image also reminds me of tumors, which is a growth of excess tissue/muscle in the body , which could lead to deformity if allowed to grow. There are two types of main tumors the cancerous which spreads and the type which is not cancerous and that grows in one place.



Cancerous cell before duplicated- image courtesy 

In my work I could attempt to replicate such a structure. The cell to me looks very cottony or like cauliflower. The material I could use to replicate this could therefore be cotton balls. 


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Craig Lawrence's fashion garment ( VAM 2012) to me resembles many tumors forming on the body. Since the tumors are further the silhouette of the garment I feel it represents the fact that tumors stretch the skin and exaggerate areas , ultimately deforming structures or areas of the body well. I could use a similar approach in creating my own garment using my textiles.

Microscopic view of cancerous tumor cells budding Image courtesy -

I find this imagery very beautiful , and feel it resembles the effect of a water marble.This makes a beautiful pattern which I feel could be translated to my textiles very well and easily. It would be interesting to experiment with this pattern in my work and interesting to experiment with different ways of presenting this imagery.


Image courtesy -Google

A cancerous cell attracting un-infected cells and in turn enlarging itself /spreading.