Decidedly the best and least conspicuous method is to fill in the hole with a carefully placed piece of net. It is particularly useful to know how to mend like this when the tear is the result of an accidental injury, and when the other part of the lace is unharmed. The process of patching is based on similar lines to the embroidery mend described on page 766, Vol. 1. Every Woman's Encyclopedia. The fresh net must, of course, exactly match in shade and texture that to which it is to be joined, as must also the thread for remaking any portion of the pattern which may be torn away.
First it is needful to cut a square of the net, and tack it firmly under the hole, allowing an inch or so over all the way round (Fig. 1). Now take a piece of the finest cotton, or even a split thread of silk, and run it round the extreme edge of the damaged section, catching it in and out of the mesh, and thus uniting the two pieces of net (Fig. 2).
If it is thought best, before doing this another tacking thread may be run through the patch to show the exact place of joining. (Fig. 3). When the pattern is an elaborate one, and it is possible to carry the join under it, it will be all the better, and, in any case, it should be arranged so as much as possible, even at the cost of making the patch a little bigger. Cut away the old lace which is left within the circle of the thread, and on the new net work out an exact copy or continuation of the pattern. The mend will be practically invisible when it has been carefully pressed (Fig. 4).
To save a piece of very good old lace, when the pattern remains unharmed and only the net has given way, it is sometimes worth while to transfer the design to a fresh background. In order to do this, the principal pieces should be cut out and pinned in their right order on a piece of new net, which has first been shrunk by washing and ironing (Fig. 5). They may be tacked securely, and then fastened down, either by a fine buttonhole stitching taken through from the wrong side round the edge of each or by a tiny running of silk or cotton.
Another way of joining the pattern into the net, which is especially good if the edges are torn or frayed, is to cut away the border stitches and remake them, taking the thread right through the net. The patterns are securely fastened to the background by this means. The net under the pattern can be cut away with a sharp pair of scissors, and lastly, any of the finer sprays or connecting threads of the pattern can be worked into their proper place. The lace will then be as good as new.
Fig. I. A tear in a piece of lace that may be mended by means of a patch of new net similar in shade and texture or silk
Fig. 2. A square of net is tacked firmly under the rent. and. then the edge of the damaged section is tacked round with fine cotton
Fig. 3. Another tacking thread may be run through the patch, to show the exact place of joining
Torn or rotten lace can be very easily-lined or strengthened with net if it is not in a very prominent position when worn. By doing this it will be made to last much longer than would otherwise be the case.
For instance, should the bottom of a petticoat, trimmed with Valenciennes lace, have become weak and broken into holes in the wash, prepare a strip of net which is sufficiently wide to reach from the top of the lace to below the bottom of its deepest point, and tack it in place all the way round. Every large hole should be tacked at the edge down to the net lining as well as each point. In the illustration black thread is shown, but white should actually be used. The net should be tacked in when the garment is rough dried, and before it is starched and ironed. Then it will so press into the lace as to make the two thicknesses almost invisible. The tacking threads can, if preferred, be pulled out very carefully after the lace has been ironed, and this will make the mending even less obvious. The straight edge of the net may be left under the points till the last, and it can then be carefully cut away with a pair of scissors. If the net lining is quite new, it is necessary to allow a little for shrinkage when cutting and tacking it in place.
For mending a tear in a hurry on a lace
Fig. 4. The hole in the lace has been made good by this mode of mending, and the repair is practically invisible transfer the design to a fresh background, by pinning the pieces in
Fig. 5. To save the pattern of very good lace, it is worth while to their right order on a new net or net frock, a starch patch will be found extremely useful. A piece of net should be cut out as nearly as possible the shape of the hole, but a little larger. This should be dipped in a basin of thin starch, and the edges of the hole should be moistened in the same way. Place the net in position, and press a hot iron firmly over it, which will be found to fasten the patch securely in place. The impromptu mend will easily last till the dress is washed, when the process can, if desired, be repeated. This method saves the need of cotton stitches, and on a plain net it is almost invisible.
All the modes described for lace mending will be found very useful when repairing curtains. Especially to be recommended for this purpose is the starch patch last mentioned. The coarse kind of canvas that is used for woolwork makes a good background for patches on some kinds of material. Unless curtains are very good, they are not worth the trouble of elaborate mending. A careful darn is often all that will be needed, since when they are hanging in folds it will not be very closely observed as the lace should be tacked behind it, all the way round, before
Fig. 6. If cotton lace on a petticoat is torn, a strip of net as wide the garment is starched and ironed. The edge of the net can then be trimmed and the tacking threads removed