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Unique step-back shaped vintage crocheted floral lace table runner topper dresser scarf done in soft white cotton crochet thread and featuring nine individual large crochet flowers.  (c. 1950's)

Each hand-crocheted flower on this vintage table runner or topper is 5" in diameter!  This table runner or topper (and could be used as a dresser scarf or end table topper) measures  21" wide x 21.5" at the longest "step-back". 

Many table linens are crocheted and sometimes knitted out of cotton or linen thread. Openwork allows the surface of the underlying object to show through. In addition to their decorative function doilies have the utilitarian role of protecting fine-wood furniture from the scratches caused by crockery or decorative objects.

Many patterns for crocheting or knitting doilies were published by thread manufacturers in the first part of the 20th century.  The designers were often anonymous.  The designs could be circular or oval starting from the center and working outward, reminiscent of the Polar coordinates system.  Doilies, as well as other household items, may be made by crocheting rows on a grid pattern using a technique called filet crochet, similar to points on the Cartesian coordinate system.  Although it may to some extent interfere with the original use, some doilies have raised designs (rose petals, popcorn, or ruffles) rather than being flat.

Using the antique art of crochet Doilies were originally crocheted with thread and used to protect table and dresser tops, and gained popularity in the Victorian Era, when women hand worked them in their spare time to add a little elegance to their households.  At one time, these items were considered so important that a young lady was expected to have at least ten to be ready for marriage, and these were carefully stored in a hope chest to be used when she set up her household.  As in all items of this nature, many hours go into the construction of the item, and each stitch is done by hand, as there is no machinery which can accurately do this work.

Crochet began turning up in Europe in the early 1800's and was given a tremendous boost by Mlle. Riego de la Branchardiere, who was best known for her ability to take old-style needle and bobbin lace designs and turn them into crochet patterns that could easily be duplicated.  She published many pattern books so that millions of women could begin to copy her designs.  Mlle. Riego also claimed to have invented "lace-like" crochet, today called Irish crochet.

Lavish crochet emerged along with other elaborate needlework of the 1800’s. Proceeds from crochet items saved the Irish from starvation.

Excellent and clean condition, no stains and no damage.  We do note a tiny "break" in the crochet work along one edge - this seems to be where the stitching began and ended.  (see photo for detail)  This in no way detracts from the beautiful handwork or the use of this vintage crochet table runner or dresser scarf.

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