Nor was it considered a waste of time and energy to reproduce badly, line for line, a full-sized picture by a mid-victorian artist; the art of the needle being misdirected in copying the art of the brush, instead of being used with a full realisation of its limitations, and an intelligent determination to attempt no details beyond the scope of the materials at command.
It was the same with the lace-making of the Victorian era. Much energy was wasted at the time of the introduction of machine-made lace by endeavouring to force lace which had been made by hand to compete with it. How much better, instead of impoverishing the patterns, working with poor materials, and giving the lacemakers starvation wages, in order to lower the price of real lace, would it have been to enrich the designs and work with truer and fuller beauty. Had this been done, hand-made laces, instead of competing with machine-made, would have risen still further above them, and remained on a separate plane, unrivalled in artistic beauty in needlecraft, while the machine productions would have taken a lower, but none the less quite legitimate place.