Hairpin Lace (also called hairpin crochet, fork crochet and Maltese lace which is not to be confused with Maltese bobbin lace) is an open lace strip or braid. It is made on a U-shaped pin and worked with a crochet hook. It is easy too work and useful for edgings, collars and cuffs.
The forks could be held with the opening up or down as the pattern required.
19thC women used their hairpins (hence the name). Commercial pins also called “forks” (or staples) were available.
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Home Needlework Magazine, January, 1916
Eventually, by the 1930’s adjustable, rectangular forks made it possible to make fine, narrow strips using cotton threads or heavier, wider bands using wool.
Also available were forks with three or more prongs, which enabled the maker to create loops of various lengths within the same strip.
While this type of lace-making has gone out of style there are still patterns and forks available. Examples of the hairpin edgings are most frequently found on vintage handkerchiefs ,
|Home Needlework Magazine, June, 1916|
|Learn New Crafts, Book No. 408, J.&P. Coats LTD., Paisley, Scotland|