Challenging perceptions of WHAT LACE CAN BE
J.C Middlebrook lives just outside of Nottingham, the region synonymous with one industry – Lace . Nottingham was the centre of lace production in the UK until a few decades ago, and the two words just went together ‘Nottingham Lace’.
The inventor of the stocking frame was from a village not far from J.C Middlebrook's studio. That machine’s development changed the face of lace production in the 1700s. Engineers created machines that would reproduce fine handmade lace brought in to the city from across the country and around the world. Some of the machine made Nottingham Lace in the archive is so fine, even an expert can find it difficult to tell it from handmade lace. The Lace Market area of the city was the place for dyeing, finishing and trading lace brought in from the factories around. The city is still steeped in lace, even if most of the production has moved away.
J.C Middlebrook makes her own lace textiles in her Nottinghamshire studio using the latest software and machinery. Although the heritage of the industry inspires her, the designer prefers to make wearable lace in vivid shades, challenging perceptions of what lace can be.