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Sheffield Lacemaker
Sheffield Lacemaker
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A club devoted to the ‘dying art’ of lacemaking has celebrated 40 years in Sheffield.

Four decades after it began, the club – which launched in 1973 – is still going strong, despite the admission that lacemaking is a ‘dying craft’.

Sheffield Lacemaker'Daphne Marshall

Sheffield Lacemaker'Daphne Marshall

“We’re doing our best to keep lacemaking alive,” said Daphne Marshall, founding member of the Sheffield organisation.

“It’s such an ornate and beautiful craft. If we allow the knowledge – which has been passed down from generation to generation – to slip away, there’s no getting it back.”

The ancient craft of lace-making began in the late 15th century and works by looping, twisting or braiding threads to other threads.

Daphne first picked up the hobby in 1970.

“It’s so relaxing,” she said. “I can pick up my lacemaking pillow for a few minutes and, before I know it, two hours have passed.”

Today the club has around 70 active members who meet up five times a year.

Daphne added: “We compare notes, show each other what we’re working on, and hold workshops. We do have some younger people joining our ranks, which is really encouraging to see.”

Emma Kent, who runs Sheffield company Running With Scissors, said: “This isn’t the first retro craft we’ve seen still going strong in the city.

“Sewing, knitting, scrapbooking have all made a comeback, as people have shown a desire to learn the skills their mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers had.

“There is something to be said for the enjoyment and pride you get out of creating something useful or beautiful with your own hands.”

Sheffield Lacemakers’ next meeting is at Ecclesall Church Hall on Saturday, July 13, from 11am to 3pm.

Newcomers welcome.