|Needleweaving by Ruth|
|My name is Ruth and I would like to give you a little information on this long forgotten beautiful art of making handmade woven designs. Needleweaving is known by many names, some which are Teneriffe Embroidery, Polka Spiderweb, Pinweaving and others. This decorative art form dates back to the Middle Ages when both men and women did handwork. Around the eighteenth century, machinery began to make lace but with a much heavier thread than the fine delicate thread used in handmade lace.
In Spain this lace was known as Sol Lace and was very fashionable with men and women of the court. Ladies wore the lace draped over a mantilla in their hair and left it drape down over their shoulders. This beautiful fine lace was also used to adorn the linens and vestments of the Church.
When the Spanish conquistadors and Jesuit missionaries sailed to South America, it was the missionaries who taught the local Indians how to make this lace. The Indians gave it the name of Nanduti Lace that means web because it resembled the web of the spider. Others called it Sun Wheels resembling the rays of the sun. Today this lace is still made on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands and sold mostly to European travelers.
Through the years the technique for making this beautiful lace has become more simplified so that it is a relatively easy handcraft to learn. These designs can be applied to clothing, linens, gourds, pine needle baskets and others.
Let me show you what I have done with this beautiful old craft.