Of course, when treating tears in those varieties which are made entirely of thread, such as torchon and Irish crochet, there will be no means of providing a background to work upon in the shape of a patch. Thus it is necessary to make up the destroyed material entirely by hand-worked stitches.
A tear in a piece of white thread lace that can be repaired by the ordinary needleworker
The first step towards repairing the damage is to get a correct tracing of a perfect portion of the lace which exactly corresponds to that which has been torn away. To do this, stretch the lace on a board over which has been spread a piece of some dark material which will throw up the pattern as strongly as possible. Black velveteen will answer the purpose better than anything else. Pin a piece of tracing-paper over the lace, and follow out the principal points with a soft pencil. When this is done, remove the tracing, and, by means of carbon paper, transfer the pattern on to a piece of dark green linen. The black pencil-marks will be found to show up fairly distinctly, but they should be intensified by outlining the pattern as clearly as can be with Chinese white paint or thin enamel. This is best done with a very fine camel-hair brush, and the wet paint should be left to dry for a little while. The lace is then put over the linen background, and arranged very carefully, so that the painted pattern falls in exactly the right place where the lace one is torn away. The piece should be very securely tacked round on to the background some inches away from the hole, and again just outside its farthest area. The broken and frayed edges can be cut away with sharp scissors, and any loose ends or sections, which are to be worked into the mend, fastened to the pattern on the background by means of pins. The lines and spaces shown by the white paint are now sewn over with cotton, the stitches being taken quite loosely, and drawn in the opposite direction, either across or longways, to that in which they will run on the finished pattern. If any part of the lace is very much raised, it can at this juncture be padded with extra stitches, or with tiny slips of muslin. The pattern is again worked over with a sort of darning stitch on the top of the tacking, and securely joined in the proper places to the rest of the lace. Care will be needed in the process to keep the needle well above the linen background, or the thread will get caught through on to the wrong side. It should be studied to give the work an outline resemblance to the finished pattern. The threads which show underneath the background should next be severed cleanly with a sharp pair of scissors. The lace can then be pulled gently away from the linen, and the loose threads which are left from the tacking can be cut away. Now will come the finishing touches of the darn, and the entire pattern should be worked over very
The design in the white paint must be sewn over with cotton, taking loose stitches in a contrary direction to that of the finished mend before beginning the work carefully, copying it closely from the rest of the lace.
To obtain the raised effect, it is generally necessary to execute two layers of darning over the tacking stitches
A ear in black lace which will be best mended by darning. The pattern is not definite enough to require tracing on a background
It is sometimes a good plan to iron the work before doing this,and,of course, the completed mend will w;mt carefully pressing. Probably it will look better still if it is washed with the whole piece of lace before it is worn. as this would thoroughly settle the frresh threads into their places. It is very import-ant not to drag the stitches, or draw them too closely together in working, Rather than this, it is wise to err on the side of slackness, as the threads are sure to shrink a little in washing. It is, again, most import-ant to ensure that in texture and shade the mending cotton exactly matches that in the original pattern.
Black lace to be repaired should be tacked on to a white handkerchief. The threads of the darns as they are drawn into place may be fixed with pins
Lace of a very large and decided design can sometimes be better repaired if the principal pieces, such as flowers and lea\ are made separately. These can then be tacked to the tracing on the linen background, and the connecting threads of the pattern worked in to secure them in their proper place in the tear. If an odd piece of new lace, exactly to match, is to be found, it will, of course, be possible to execute a very perfect mend. All that will need to be done is to cut out the principal parts of the design, tack them on a background, and fasten them into the hole in the manner described. Sometimes it is worth while to get some lace which almost matches at a shop, and cut and adapt it for the purpose.
Black torchon or silk lace, without a very definite pattern, can be darned without a previous tracing. Finish off the ends of the threads by running them into the thickest part of the darn on the wrong side. The final trimming of the ends should be left until the work is completed. Only attempt lace-mending by daylight. The close matching of stitches and shading can never be accomplished satisfactorily in artificial light.