18th Century Spiral Lacing

18th century spiral lacing

18th century clothing was often closed with pins or lacing (there are also other closures like hooks and eyes or buttons). If lacing was used, it was usually spiral lacing, not crisscross lacing. For spiral lacing, two of the lacing holes at the beginning and end are spaced closer together (you can see it at my linen jacket above).

18th century laced jacket

To close your stays or jacket with spiral lacing, tie a knot or loop at the beginning. You can either begin at the bottom or at the top (I find it easier to begin at the top). I’m using a large, blunt sewing needle to help threading the ribbon through the eyelets. Then you begin lacing in a ‘spiral motion’: down one eyelet, up one eyelet, down one eyelet … So there’s no crossing of the cord from the inside to the outside. At the end, tie a knot or loop.

lace a 18th century jacket

Here are different kinds of spiral lacing, as well as examples of spiral lacing from the 14th till the 18th century.

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