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Lace looks great in clothes and lingerie. But do you know what lace actually is? And how it differs from embroidery? Lieve Vermeire, brand design manager of Marie Jo explains.

Embroidery: stitching on a fabric foundation

“Embroidery is the art of decorating a fabric or other material with needle and thread. You could compare it to the patterned stitching you might have done at school,’’ explains Lieve Vermeire, brand design manager of Marie Jo. “Stitches are made using threads on the foundation. With embroidery it’s easy to create any pattern using various colours. Embroidery usually has more relief and colour than lace. The foundation determines how elastic the embroidery is.”

Lace: creating the fabric itself by looping or knitting thread

When you think of lace, you think of stitching by hand, which is exactly right, says Lieve Vermeire. “Lace is still more of a handicraft than embroidery. You create the lace structure by looping and knotting threads in a given direction to create a pattern. So there is no foundation material in lace. Lace is characterised by fine designs, with lots of variation due to the different structures that are knotted. Lace looks more irregular, and so more authentic. Lace is typically created in one or two colours only. It’s often more elastic than embroidery, because there is more give in the knotted threads.”

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