Lace has been in favour and fashion for hundreds of years, from its earliest beginnings in ancient Egypt to the flourishing 17th-century European lacemaking industry and its extravagant use in 1920s and 1980s women's clothing.
Synonymous with glamour and romance, lace has recently enjoyed a renaissance as catwalk collections extol the virtues of this most intricate and exquisite textile. Since Prada devoted its Autumn/Winter 2008/2009 collection to chic lace creations, shopping malls have been filled with lacy fashion items. Kate Middleton's lace wedding dress might also have contributed to the fabric's continued popularity.
But our love affair with lace is not limited to clothing. Lace patterns and fabrics are being integrated into lighting, tabletop ceramics, furniture and flooring. Fantastic examples include Eleanor-Jayne Browne's MothEaten lace light, Catherine Ball's ceramic lace vases, Jennifer McGarigle's Lucite and Lace chair and Jethro Macey's concrete lace floor tiles.
Lace's increasing appeal can also be attributed to the economic climate. During uncertain times we tend to look to the past for answers and reassurance. This mode of thinking is inspiring many new ranges and influencing what people surround themselves with in their homes.
Classic fabrics such as lace are reassuringly familiar, plus they are trans-seasonal and have wonderful longevity in terms of future trends. Margo Graham, the design director at the renowned Scottish lacemaking company MYB Textiles, says, "In today's economic climate people want to spend money on fabrics that last and are not thrown out next year. We think lace is timeless where style is concerned."
Since the economic downturn, many international interiors brands have delved into their archives to rework classic designs. MYB Textiles is no exception. Its extensive archive dates back to the founding of the company in 1900, so it had decades of vintage designs on which to base its latest collection. But instead of launching another lace fabric range, it created a unique and innovative collection of wallpapers called PaperLace. These dramatic wallcoverings take two fabric designs from the 1920s and give them a glamorous new twist with bold use of scale and elegant colouring.
"After working on a range of laces for the Scottish design house Timorous Beasties, which is well known for its wallpapers, we decided to work in collaboration with them to develop our bestselling lace into a wallpaper to complement the range," Margo says.
With these wallpapers, their antique lace patterns are enjoying a new lease on life.
Victoria Redshaw is the managing director of Scarlet Opus. For more, visit www.trendsblog.co.uk and www.twitter.com/scarletopus. To see the full collection of PaperLace wallpapers from MYB Textiles visit www.mybtextiles.com