Hairpin Crochet Lace for Summer

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 3 Comments

Man, it is hot up here in the northern hemisphere! Summer is truly upon us and I’ve seen some lacy clothing come out of storage and have a day in the sun. Summer is perfect for crochet and it seems that each year, every season, I see more and more crochet in stores, online, and on the runway. Hairpin lace is a classic crochet technique that people may not know is crochet. It was originally crocheted using a lady’s hairpin as a loom. As I researched for this essay, I became fascinated with the history of hairpin lace.

Corrine Munger took these hairpin crochet lace photos !

Corrine Munger took these hairpin crochet lace photos !

While most sources mention that hairpin lace was “popular during Victorian times,” one article written by Shelby Allaho on Stitch Story notes a citation linking the craft to Queen Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536). This would make sense, considering that multiple sources have cited that in Victorian (1837-1901) times, publications touted “Old-Fashioned Hairpin Lace.” In the 1884 edition of the Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese De Dillmont, the technique was referred to as “Hairpin Crochet”. Other names for the technique (culled from multiple sources) include the Turkish firkete, Staple Work, Fork Work, and Maltese Lace. However, the pictures I found online of Maltese Lace look markedly different.

Hairpin lace is worked on a loom with a crocheted “spine” in the middle, creating long strips that can be used individually or joined together to make larger fabrics. While I’ve never mastered it, my research assures me that it is a quick and easy technique. I can see that it would be quick once you get it going. My problem is that I’ve not quite gotten it going yet!

With summer here, I think that hairpin lace needs to be my next crochet project. There is an abundance of information on this technique all over the internet, in libraries, and in bookstores. There are instructional tutorials, videos, and even classes online or maybe at your local yarn store. In fact, I have ample information to teach myself hairpin lace. I can do it. I must! I have no excuse. I don’t even need to go further than Crochet Spot to get some instruction. Back in 2012, then Crochet Spot Writer Corrine Munger wrote about hairpin lace, and then posted a basic tutorial.

So what about you, my friends? Hairpin lace is here for you this summer, are you going to try it? Please leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below. And now for my long list of sources!

Alexander, Carol. “Harnessing Hairpin Lace: It’s Easier Than You Think!” Crochet World Blog. Annie’s, 4 Mar. 2015. Web. 16 July 2015. <>.
Allaho, Shelby. “Hairpin Lace…My Next Crochet Adventure!” Stitch Story., 8 Oct. 2010. Web. 16 July 2015. <>. Author is citing a vintage copy of “Smart Crochet” magazine.
De Dillmont, Therese. “Hairpin Crochet.” Encyclopedia of Needlework. N.p.: n.p., 1884. N. pag.
Hansen, Jennifer. “A Case for Hairpin Lace.” Vogue Knitting, n.d. Web. 16 July 2015.
Hansen, Jennifer. “Hairpin Lace.” Stitch Diva Studios., n.d. Web. 16 July 2015.
Honey-Lee. “Complete Beginners – Hairpin Lace.” Tuesday Fortnite. WordPress, 25 Feb. 2013. Web. 16 July 2015.
Leslie, Catherine Amoroso. “Hairpin Lace.” Needlework Through History: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood Group, 2007. 92-95. Print. Book section accessed online through Google Books.
Rodriguez, Melissa. “About Hairpin Lace Crochet.” – Crochet. BellaOnline, n.d. Web. 16 July 2015.
Scott, Laura. “Hairpin Lace.” Introduction. Old-time Crochet Made Easy. Berne, IN: House of White Birches, 2000. N. pag. Book section accessed online through Google Books.
“Crochet Hairpin Lace.” Crochet Hairpin Lace. Studio of Crochet and Knitting SHERU, n.d. Web. 16 July 2015.

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  1. Jodiebodie says:

    Love your reference list – so useful.
    I tend to see more hairpin lace projects in European pattern magazines than either USA or UK publications.

  2. Theresa says:

    Oh golly!! I started doing hairpin lace back in the 70’s—made afghans, shawls, table runners, scarves and more. Long, long, time ago.

  3. mary baribeau says:

    I have been crocheting for 37 years and during that time I have never learned Hairpin lace, broomstick, or afghan now called Tunisian. I’m starting to learn and challenge myself by working with yarn other than acrylic. Your article has been very helpful. I enjoy when a blog has articles on stitches, yarn, how to read a pattern or diagram. That is one thing I can’t do is read a diagram. I have to have written instructions. Thank you for all the helpful information you have provided to your readers and subscribers.

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