Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Good lace, bad lace, good lace, bad lace...

Hello there sweeties!!!
How's your week been so far? This evening I've been reading an awful lot of lolita blog posts, and you can tell because my grammar has improved greatly, and my mannerisms have gotten very posh! ^.~
I kid, I kid! I won't carry on like that! Don't you worry xP

Anywayz, I was just reading an article on good and bad lace, by Miss Caro-chan of F Yeah Lolita and it has inspired me to write my own version of this article.
Please keep in mind that I am not a professional seamstress, nor do I make lace. This is just what I have picked up from being a lurking loli on the interwebz for the past 4 years, and previous to that being exposed to lots of hand me down bundles of lace given to me by my nan. Not all of that lace was good lace mind.

The first thing you need to know about lace (especially on loli clothes!) is this; if it's bellow £1.50 a yard, it's probably bad (unless you were buying it from the sale bin of course). If your otherwise gorgeous OP is cheap, they're probably skimping on the lace. Period.

This lace pictured above is of very poor quality (and is very similar to the lace on a blouse I impulse bought in Camden in February *facepalm*)
It's thin, and the design is stereo typical of all poor quality lace, seriously, the design on almost all of it is a very odd, random floral pattern. The "background" of the lace, which is the very plain honey comb patterned area, most easily seen on the bottom, may look delicate, but it will feel scratchy and course when you feel it on your skin. It catches the light in strange ways, and is often made of a nylon, or nylon like material.

Good lace on the other hand, as it is picture here, will be thick, sumptuous and a real joy to feel on your skin. And unlike the bad lace will be made - most commonly - out of cotton. As you can see here the designs look a lot less intricate  - especially on the largest one - but are probably a lot more sturdy because of that. If you look closely at the way it's woven you will see the separate threads. Not thin plasticy looking strands of what could be barbie hair.
Good lace can cost a fair amount, but unless you're ridiculously stingy you won't mind that much. It should feel smooth, and thin, almost like a small piece of material. It should not feel manufactured smooth, but more like the kind of smooth you feel when you run your fingers over the skin on the inside of your wrist. The area where you feel your pulse.

Of course, this does not just apply to white lace, but also to black, cream, mint, yellow, pink, blue and maybe even orange lace.

Branching off a little from just lace, I'd like to offer a simple word of advice to anyone who is looking into buying their first lolita dress, and really wants something decadent with lots of fancy lace and and all the bells and whistles attached. I'm guessing - and I'll be very surprised if you do - that you don't have £300 pounds to spend on a Baby, The Stars Shine Bright extravaganza? No, well, I didn't expect you to.

A lot of cheaper companies are renowned for their poor quality lace, Bodyline got an incredibly bad reputation for selling crappily made pieces with that disgusting lace plastered all over. They have since improved, and as far as I know, they no longer sell pieces with that bodge job lace attached (They do on the other hand not warn you about export/import taxes of £30 >_<*). It's not a given that the company is going to sell you a skirt of completely different quality to the one you saw in the advertisement, but it is a possibility. Therefore, why risk it. For your first piece, substitute lace for ruffles! You'll obtain the same extravagant effect, but you won't have to fret about your lace being made of a material akin to that of tinsel. It's a legendary lolita "rule".

XD But, by all means, if the ita look is the way you wanna go, buy all the cheap lace you want! Just be prepared to suffer a lot of abuse if you go around calling it good lace, or perhaps even lolita.

I really hope this article helped you distinguish bad lace from good lace. What are your experiences with lace? Be it good or bad?

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