The Belgian Colour Code

In the early 20th Century, some nuns from Brugge (Belgium) wanted to make the understanding of lace lighter to their pupils. That’s why they applied a colour system to their technical instructions, to describe the course of the threads. This system happened to be so clear and easy, that it was adopted internationally to indicate how a piece of lace is made, as well as to preserve the way old ones were made. Although other similar codes have been created after it, the Belgian code is the most used today.

Traditionally, in Spain no diagrammes or other codes were used. Bobbin lace learning was passed from mothers to daughters, and they learnt by pure observation. Nevertheless, times have changed. Now our mothers don’t teach us how to make lace, but usually a teacher does and, in many cases, a book or a magazine.

Codigo de Colores Belga - Vuelta y CruzColour diagrammes provide us with very valuable information about the way of making lace. In fact, they tell us everything: the number of bobbins we will need, the stitches we will have to work, the course of the base threads and, where appropriate, of the gimp, additional twists, pinholes, etc. We only need some practice in understanding them. And once we have it, we will see how important it is that the patterns are accompanied by their corresponding diagrammes.

 More information in our issue No. 1

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