Saturday, May 19, 2012

The eyelet of the beholder

’Tis the season for lightweight fabrics and delicate details, and we’re tickled to see all the options for fashion and home that include eyelet. A quintessentially romantic technique, eyelet softens the edges of a room and adds a layer of visual interest.

The origins of eyelet are a bit sketchy, but it seems to have been developed in Europe as an offshoot of traditional cutwork sometime in the 1700s. It’s made by creating a tone-on-tone pattern (historically white thread on white fabric or ivory thread on ivory fabric, but these days, any color goes) of closely placed buttonhole stitches, and then carefully cutting away the fabric inside the holes. The resulting lacelike effect has both dimension and texture. Patterns vary widely, from miniscule florals to large modern geometrics.

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