Tools used in lacemaking

Bone lace requires a few specialized tools to be made, but these can be bought online or made at home with materials on hand.

Required Tools


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Lacemaking pillows are firm surfaces into which pins are pushed to form the lace pattern. Pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes from lacemaking traditions all over the world.
Pillows can be purchased from suppliers online, or made using materials on hand.


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  • Continental
  • Honiton
  • East Midlands
  • hooded (common for bolster pillows in eastern Europe)
  • for wire lace or other monofilaments: umbrella's, top hooks, side hooks or these d.i.y.

See also Brenda Paternoster's special bobbins and Lori Howe's virtual museum


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Lacemaking thread is traditionally linen or silk, although modernly cotton threads and wool yarns are used. Non-stretchy, S-twisted thread must be used.

See also: Thread width and pattern size


pins! Straight dressmaking pins! "Lace pins" are for pinning finished lace to cloth, they are too thin and short for lacemaking.

Optional Tools


A pricker is a needle inserted into a handle. It is used to prick holes in the lacemaking pattern ("pricking") prior to making the lace, which helps in accurately placing pins later when the pinholes are obstructed by threads.

Pin Pusher/Lifter

A pin pusher is a tool with a concave surface to push pins by their heads into a pricking. A pin lifter is a tool with a forked end, allowing one to carefully lift a pin out the pattern. These tools can be found seperately or combined into one, and are useful in patterns where the pins are spaced very closely together. They also allow one to manipulate pins while avoiding damage to fingernails.

Lazy Susan

A lazy susan is a bent needle inserted into a handle, with the eye sticking out. This tool is used for sewings, where two pieces of lace are joined.

Crochet Hook

A crochet hook can also be used for sewings, although a very small hook is needed. Depending on the size of your thread, a size 13 to 15 hook would be needed.