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Hedgehog Handworks: Glossary


The acanthus is a prickly herb of the Mediterranean region. Its leafs used as a classic design element in textiles, architecture, silverwork,etc.
A metal end or tag used to finish the end of a ribbon tie, generally used to tie sleeves onto a bodice or doublet.


The style of artistic expression prevalent in the 17th century, characterized by elaborate ornamentation.
Steel, whalebone, cane, etc. used in stiffening corsets.
A piece of wood or metal used to stiffen the center front of a corset. A solid wooden busk would be used for 16th, 17th, or 18th century corset. A steel busk with fasteners would be used for Victorian corsets.
Pad or frame worn below waist at the back to extend the skirt. Worn in the late 19th century.


A clasp or chain, traditionally worn at the waist, from which to hang useful or decorative items – scissors, needlecase, pincushion, keys, small purse, etc. Before garments had pockets, small items were hung from the waistband or belt. While some primitive examples have been found from very early periods (8th century), the chatelaine reached its European apex in the late 18th century. After a period of disuse, they reappeared in the 1870’s and very extremely popular and in use in one form of the other until the turn of the century.


A tool, generally rounded on one end, to aid to holding fabric taut over the darner’s surface while mending. On this site, it is a tool used to aid in mending (darning) the fingertips of gloves.


The time period between 1901-1910, when Edward VII was king of England. Fashions are characterized by large, wide hats, trailing skirts, and the S-bend silhouette.
Elizabethan Era
The time period, in England, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 1558-1603. The late Renaissance. Fashions are characterized by ruffs, farthingales.


A type of hoop skirt.


Georgian Era
The time period during the reign of King George IV of England, 1820-1830.


Hoop skirt
Petticoat made with wire, cane, and whalebone hoops to support and extend skirt.


A two-pronged tool used to produce a square, braided cord. The cord had many uses, from threading through clothes to drawstrings on purses. The size of the thread used determined the size of the cord. See our selection of handmade lucets. Read more information about lucets.


Metal Threads
Purl (the English term) or Bullion (the French term) is produced by winding plated wire around a form to produce a hollow coil. Depending on the form used in manufacture, different shapes, textures, and finishes are created. Read more about the metal threads.
Middle Ages
The long time period from about the 5th century until the 16th century.


The craft of making nets, usually very fine nets for hair, purses, shawls. The tools needed are a shuttle and gauges to keep the openings of the net regular. Very fancy netting sets of ivory and bone were used. Very popular during the Georgian period. See our netting set.


Any one of many needle techniques including, Hardanger, Reticella, Pulled Thread embroidery, Filet Lace. A technique in which there are solid areas and also areas in which threads are removed by cutting or being pulled aside.


Oval hoop extending far out at the sides.


Regency Era
The French Regency period spanned the years 1715-1723. The English Regency covered the years 1795-1820.
Roughly, the 16th century. A great flowering of art, literature, fashion, and knowledge after the more restrained Middle Ages.
The 18th century style that is characterized by fanciful curved forms and ornament that are usually excessively ornate or intricate. The shell was a favorite motif.
A wheel-shaped collar popular in the late 16th –early 17th centuries. Made of very fine fabrics and sometimes edged with lace.


A projection or loop on the back of a button through which the button is attached to the garment.
The pieces of stiffening in a corset or the corset itself.
Padded and raised embroidery popular in the mid-17th century.


Tambour Work
A form of embroidery using a hoop on a stand and a hook similar to a tiny crochet hook to produce surface chain stitches. Also used for beading large areas. See our tambour set.
Tatting Shuttle
The shuttle used for tatting – a technique of handmade lace formed by looping and knotting with a single thread and the shuttle.


Victorian Era
The time period of England’s Queen Victoria, 1837-1901.

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