New England
Lace Group

Demonstration FAQs

Additional questions can be sent to our Member At Large

1.  I have been asked to demonstrate - who do I contact at NELG?

Our Member at Large (MAL) generally coordinates our demonstrations. In addition, all events are posted on the calendar on the NELG website, so that everyone is aware of what events are going on.  If you have volunteered to demonstrate, you will be given details of what is being provided by the venue (table(s), chairs, electricity, etc.) as well as an indication of how much space we are being allocated, whether it will be inside or outside, and (if outside) if a popup canopy is being provided.

Of course, members may organize an event themselves, or may be invited through a contact they have made.  Please let the MAL know so that our records are up to date, and we can then invite other lace makers to participate, when appropriate.

Please note that NELG does not pay to rent tables or booth space at any event. If you are asked to participate in an event that requires payment, we will either need to negotiate for free space or decline participation.

2.  What should I bring?

The answer to this question is varied.  It would depend on the event and the sponsoring organization, so it is best to confirm with the organizers what they expect, and how much space we will have available.  Here is a handy checklist.

We suggest that you be prepared for those who are interested to give it a try and have an extra tatting shuttle (already filled with thread) or a "try it" lace pillow that the attendees can actually make a few cross/twists on - like the snake or the “Try It Fish” or the 5 pair heart.

3.  Should I let people touch my lace?

That's clearly up to the lace maker.  You may consider having a small sign "Please do not touch" to indicate what items they can touch. 

4.  Does NELG have any resources that I can use?

  • We have our NELG Business Cards which you are encouraged to can print out. These are on the Members Only page, so you will need to be logged into the website. Remember to invite the event attendees to visit our website ( and our Facebook page.
  • NELG also has a vinyl banner that can be borrowed from the MAL.  It is 60" wide by 18" high and has grommets at the top so it may be tied to the top of a booth, or it can be attached to the front of a table or secured to the tablecloth, if there is no booth.
  • Don’t forget that we have our exhibit for Ipswich lace that we can bring to our public demos, where there is space, and it is appropriate for the event. NELG is really well positioned to be the champions of early American lace since our region includes Ipswich, where the only known bobbin lace industry thrived in the early American Republic. 

5. People ask about teachers, does NELG have a list?

NELG does not have a list of teachers, but anyone who is interested in learning more should be encouraged to email

You might also want to mention our annual retreat and workshops (usually held in May) and the subsidized beginner class.

6. What do I tell people who ask about the history of bobbin lacemaking?

  • History
    • Bobbin lace began in the late 1400’s, most likely in northern Italy
    • Bobbin lacemaking spread throughout the trade routes
    • There are many cultures that use thread and patterns
    • Lace patterns, styles of lace, bobbins, and lace pillows vary depending upon geographic location
  • Lace process
    • Weaving threads / off-loom weaving
    • No knots
    • Pins are used when threads change direction
    • Pattern (pricking) is a roadmap
  • Ipswich lace
    • Town in Massachusetts
    • The only place in colonial America (late 1700’s) to have a “commercial enterprise” in making bobbin lace
    • At the height of the industry, there were over 600 lacemakers in Ipswich
    • Library of Congress has the original samples (collected by Alexander Hamilton)
    • NELG is still researching and discovering new examples of Ipswich lace

7.  How do I know which other NELG members might be attending an event?

The MAL will let volunteers know who else is going to the event so that you can coordinate who is taking which items and arrange for ride sharing.

8.   Volunteer demonstration hours

First of all, demonstrating is so important to the publicity of lace in general. As for NELG, demonstrating speaks directly to why we are organized in the promoting and preserving lace. It allows for our organization to grow.  The public generally hasn't seen bobbin lace being made and are often not aware of how lace was originally made.  As a charter chapter of IOLI, we report our hours to them for their annual reporting statements.

You can report your hours on our Volunteer hours page (log into website required) or you can send all the information that is requested on the volunteer hours page to the Member At Large.  Either way, your hours will be added to the database and if you have email, you will receive a confirmation email that your hours have been submitted.

New England Lace Group © 1982-2024 Last update July 10, 2024