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n and Indian shawls. Frequent experiments have been tried to improve these old patterns, by the introduction of slight and tasteful modifications, but these innovations have not succeeded, and a very skillful and experienced lace-worker assured Mr. Kohl, that the antiquated designs, with all their formality, are preferred to those in which the most elegant changes have been effected. Each of the lace-making towns of Belgium excels in the production of one particular description of lace: in other words, each has what is technically called its own _point_. The French word _point_, in the ordinary language of needlework, signifies _stitch_; but in the terminology of lace-making, the word is sometimes used to designate the pattern of the lace, and sometimes the ground of the lace itself. Hence the terms _point de Bruxelles, point de Malines, point de Valenciennes_, &c. In England we distinguish by the name Point, a peculiarly rich and curiously wrought lace formerly very fashionable, but now scarcely ever worn except in Court costume. In this sort of lace the pattern is, we believe, worked with the needle, after the ground has been made with the bobbins. In each town there prevail certain modes of working, and certain patterns which have been transmitted from mother to daughter successively, for several generations. Many of the lace-workers live and die in the same houses in which they were born, and most of them understand and practice only the stitches which their mothers and grandmothers worked before them. The consequence has been, that certain points have become unchangeably fixed in particular towns or districts. Fashion has assigned to each its particular place and purpose; for example:--the _point de Malines_ (Mechlin lace) is used chiefly for trimming night-dresses, pillow-cases, coverlets, &c.; the _point de Valenciennes_ (Valenciennes lace) is employed for ordinary wear or neglige; but the more rich and costly _point de Bruxelles_ (Brussels lace) is reserved for bridal and ball dresses, and for the robes of queens and courtly ladies. As the different sorts of lace, from the narrowest and plainest to the broadest and richest, are innumerable; so the division of labor among the lace-workers is infinite. In the towns of Belgium there are as many different kinds of lace-workers as there are varieties of spiders in Nature. It is not, therefore, surprising that in the several departments of this branch of industry
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