Barmen machine lace sample book from Le Puy

This is a lace pattern book, which according to the note inside, was bought in Le Puy, France and contains lace samples from 1910 - 1930. It belonged to the Cowell family. Some of the lace pieces had got detached from their page. I have stuck them in again, and put a cross by the price where I am not sure that I have it right.

These lace samples were made by a Barmen lace machine. The Barmen machine was developed in the 1890s in Germany from a braiding machine. Its bobbins imitate the movements of the bobbins of the hand-made lace maker and it makes perfect copies of Torchon and the simpler hand-made laces. It can only make one width at a time, and has a maximum width of about 120 threads. "Lace Machines and Machine Lace" by Pat Earnshaw says that by 1914 there were five factories (with Barmen machines) in Le Puy.

Click on a page for a much enlarged picture.

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© Jo Edkins 2014