*if you were linked here from Etsy, thanks for stopping by! This is how The Abused Lace Liberation Project got started.
I have the heart of a restorationist. Originally, this was only directed at books. The Abused Book Liberation Project began when I would frequent yard sales, looking for treasure. I noticed that many of the books I found were stuffed in boxes and kept in damp places. I started offering people $10 or $20 to take ALL of the books off their hands. When I got them home, I would clean and inspect them and the ones I didn’t want to keep are listed on BookMooch.
Soon I began to notice that the places that had “abused books” also had “abused lace.”
My granny used to make lace and I remember sitting with her while she crocheted these delicate little pieces of art. I love lace and embroidery, but most of the time when I find them, most of it is too mildewed to salvage. Lace is normally seen as a formal item, it’s often “put away for something special” then the box is moved and moved and moved again until it ends up in a damp corner of the basement.
I came across several huge stashes of lace a couple of years ago. I was hunting for antique books out in the country and I met a couple of elderly ladies who made dolls. I was admiring the dolls and noticed that they had boxes upon boxes of lace stuffed under a table. I asked about it and they mentioned that most of the dolls had lace on their dresses, but now that their eyesight and ability to hand sew was gone, they just put it away. I asked if I could buy it from them and they looked at me like I had dropped in from another planet for about 30 seconds.
Then, shockingly enough, they looked at each other and one said “you can have it all for $5. You just have to carry it out yourself.” Yes, ma’am. I got this. It filled up the entire back cargo area of my Durango, with the 3rd row folded down. They asked me what I was going to do with it and I told them “I don’t really know yet. My Granny made lace and I love it, so I’m sure I’ll find something to do with it.”
When I got it all home, I started sorting through it and I did end up throwing out about half of it. The rest has some very interesting pieces and I’ve used it on different projects. Most of it though, is really just too special for a hack like me to use up. While I love textiles and fabric arts, I have about as much talent with it as I do with gardening.
Since then, I’ve been sorting, cleaning, smoothing and rolling hundreds upon hundreds of yards of lace. My project now is to put the lace in the hands of the people who can use it and make it beautiful and special again.
As I get a piece done, I’ll be listing it as commercial supplies on Etsy. I know I’ll never make a profit, but I consider the price charged akin to the adoption fee when you adopt a pet from a shelter. People who pay for something are much more likely to take care of it.
Here are the photos of the lace that has come through our home.