lace Great article Julia. I love linen and your descriptions on how to find the true grain was very helpful. Can't wait to make a new chemise using your techniques.
I am in the process of studying how to make early lace (ie 16th-18th century). There were styles lace for underthings, for outer things, for fans, for handkerchief trims. And yes, I believe modern hand made lace in the old lace styles could achieve what is not available commerically.
Some lace history books and lace identification books: Antique lace : identifying the types and techniques by Healther Toomer (the best lace identification book to come on the market in years. Clear photographs and excellent descriptions). The identification of lace by Pat Earnshaw (an overview of lace identification)
Lace and linen repair: Anybody can mend lace and linens by E. Kurelia (A handy manual of practical information on repairing lace and linens)
Source for above books & linen thread. http://www.vansciverbobbinlace.com