Bobbins for lacemaking come in a variety of shapes and finishes but they all serve the same purposes:
- Receptacle for holding a quantity of thread for making the lace
- Handle for use whilst manipulating those threads during the lacemaking process
- Weight to help tension the threads. Finer thread requires lighter bobbins and thicker thread needs heavier bobbins
The majority of lace bobbins are hand turned on a lathe although occasionally a whittled or carved example is found. In recent years a few of the more popular styles have been mass produced on electronically controlled machinery.
Thread is wound around the neck of the bobbin and secured with a hitch. On bobbins with a double head a double hitch (not two singles) is made around the groove in the head; on a single headed bobbin a single hitch is made on top of the wound thread.
Most English lacemakers wind their bobbins clockwise (looking down on the head) and the majority of continental European lacemakers wind anti-clockwise.
A bobbin should be rolled into the thread rather than winding the thread around the bobbin as that will cause the thread to tighten or loosen the spin of the thread.
|Making a double hitch onto bobbin wound clockwise.
If the bobbin is wound anti-clockwise the hitch should be reversed.
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