Net applique, with cotton bobbinet tulle or cotton Valenciennes lace, was very popular in the Edwardian era. In the 1900s, it was used to embellish clothing, especially underwear.
To make Edwardian net applique, you baste a piece of cotton tulle or lace to fabric, cut the fabric away behind the net and then attach the net with satin or other embroidery stitches.
Edwardian Net Applique – The Basics
Net Applique Vs. Applique Lace Vs. Carrickmacross Lace
Edwardian net applique shouldn’t be confused with applique lace or Carrickmacross lace. All three applique works were popular in the Edwardian era and were made with cotton fabric, cotton bobbinet tulle or cotton lace.
Carrickmacross applique lace is made by appliqueing a small piece of thin cotton fabric to cotton bobbinet tulle. Here‘s an antique Edwardian blouse with a Carrickmacross lace yoke.
Applique lace, on the other hand, is made by appliqueing various lace braids to cotton bobbinet tulle. There existed different types of applique lace like Brussels applique lace or princess braid applique.
And net applique is made by appliqueing cotton bobbinet tulle or Valenciennes lace to fabric and cutting away the fabric behind the net. Today, Edwardian net applique is also referred to as ‘fine whitework’.
- Net Applique: net (or lace) appliqued to fabric
- Carrickmacross Lace: fabric appliqued to net
- Applique Lace: lace braid appliqued to net
Antique Edwardian Net Applique
Here are some antique garments from the Edwardian era with net applique: antique Edwardian drawers with a round Valenciennes lace applique motif with satin stitch flowers, antique 1910s dressing gown with similar Valenciennes lace appliques and satin stitch flowers, antique Edwardian drawers with Valenciennes lace applique in the shape of a flower, and 1908 net applique with Wallachian embroidery (buttonhole stitch embroidery).
Embroidery Stitches Of Edwardian Net Applique
In the Edwardian era, the net or lace motifs were usually attached with satin stitches. Sometimes Wallachian embroidery stitches (buttonhole stitches) were used instead of satin stitches.
‘Besides the [Wallachian] embroidery, a bit of net has been introduced into these designs which partially changes the character of the work and adds to its daintiness.’ (Wallachian Embroidery, 1908)
And if plain cotton bobbinet tulle was used for the applique, the tulle was sometimes embroidered with net darning stitches like in needle-run Limerick tulle lace.
Related: How To Make Limerick Lace By Hand
‘The net may be embroidered in beautiful lace stitches, this form of the appliqué lending itself to many combinations that are both elegant and beautiful in effect.’ (Singer Instructions For Art Embroidery, 1911)
Uses Of Edwardian Net Applique
Edwardian net applique was used to embellish underwear, shirtwaist blouses, dresses and neckwear.
‘When it [net applique] is to be used for cording jabots, ladies’ gowns, or even neckwear, very handsome results may be obtained.’ (Singer Instructions For Art Embroidery, 1911)
‘This corset cover is decorated in rather a novel way. Half inch square openings are cut and the raw edges turned back to form the design shown. Net is sewed on under the squares.’ (School Sewing Based On Home Problems, 1916)
How To Make Edwardian Net Applique
The net ‘is first basted over the pattern, and, as the design shows through, the Wallachian work is done over this, taking the stitches through both the net and linen. When this is finished, use sharp scissors and carefully cut the net from around the embroidery and the linen from beneath the net inside the figure.’ (Wallachian Embroidery, 1908)
- cotton bobbinet tulle or cotton Valenciennes lace
- cotton fabric
- cotton embroidery thread
1. Baste The Net & Fabric Together
Mark the design on the fabric. Then put the cotton bobbinet tulle or Valenciennes lace on top of the fabric. I used cotton Valenciennes lace in this tutorial.
Then baste the fabric and net together along the outline of the motif using long running stitches.
2. Cut The Fabric
After basting the fabric and net together, turn the fabric over to the wrong side and cut the fabric away behind the net, leaving a small seam allowance. If the motif has curves or corners, clip the corners and clip the fabric at even intervals along the curves. If you find it easier, you can also cut the fabric away after the embroidery.
3. Attach The Net With Embroidery Stitches
Now, using your fingers, turn the cut fabric edge under. And attach the net with satin stitches or other embroidery stitches like buttonhole stitches.
4. Hide The Tail
Hide the tail of the thread under the previous stitches on the wrong side of the embroidery. Then snip the thread.
5. Cut The Net Away
After you’ve attached the net to fabric, carefully cut the net away close to the embroidery stitches.
6. Finished Edwardian Net Applique
Now the Edwardian net applique is finished. By the way, Edwardian net applique is machine washable: The satin stitches prevent the fabric and net from unraveling. Now you can add more Edwardian net applique motifs or other embroidery.
Related: How To Make Hedebo Embroidery
Please Pin It!