Monday, 3 September 2012

Victorian Collar Project

This year i have been asked to participate in the Shifnal Arts Festival. The arts festival has been running for several years now, and runs between the 4-7 of October 2012. The festival is inclusive of all arts and crafts, from music, painting, theatre and knitting. This year they have decided to have a Victorian theme to the festival. Focusing in on local Victorian history.  As people know that i like to do a lot of knitting and crochet they have asked me to crochet some Victorian lace collars for next month.

I gave an tentative yes, if i can find a pattern, pictures etc to work from, then i could not see the problem. Only there is a problem, finding a genuine Victorian crochet lace collar pattern, or picture that i can work form is nearly impossible.  I also have the added blessing/or curse that "Victorian style" collars are fashionable again. Making it nearly impossible to find genuine usable examples on the Internet. But yet i am still finding loads of beautiful collars with a more contemporary feel to them.

The best pattern i have found, so far is: Godey's Lady's Book, Vol. XLII, May 1851This is an American journal from this era. It contains a pattern for a lace cuff (Etruscan Lace Cuff), that i shall give a try. 

Victorian Lace Collar
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I would hate to display a set of collars knowing that they are not genuinely of local or British Victorian construction. I have people telling me that it does not matter, and that they are just making stuff up and saying that it is Victorian. However, i am a perfectionist and it matters to me.

I know that a lot of the other artists are also having similar problem, some of their there art forms or crafts just did not exist in the Victorian era. Others are painting Victorian era houses with PVC windows and other later attachments. The fact is that not much remains form this period, which can be recreated by amateurs with little historical knowledge of their craft in the Victorian era.

So far i have started work on one collar, making the pattern up as i go along. I don't know if it is something that they would have worn in the Victorian times but it is a start. I'll just have to make it clear in writing that it is, what it is. Plus i shall make the Etruscan Lace Cuff.

So i am making a call to anybody who can help me out in the next few weeks. Do you have a Victorian crochet collar that you can send me the pictures of, or even better a written pattern? Please help...

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