Frequently asked questions

This is a new process for a traditional heritage craft and so there are many questions that get asked frequently, hopefully this will address a few of them.  Please get in touch if your question is not answered here.

How do you actually do it?
I design lace patterns using Lace8 design programme and export it as a digital file to the laser cutter programme.  This is then sent to the laser cutter in the same way that a document is sent to a printer.  The digital technology reads that file and fires a laser beam at the card where the holes need to be. This means that the pricking you get is what you see on the digital file. The only inaccuracies are caused by human error in the design stage. 

But it isn't traditional, so what is the benefit? 
Traditionally lace patterns were using vellum, and actually the lace dealers would supply the patterns ready pricked, the lacemakers generally didn't make their own patterns,(unless they were illicitly copying them!)  this was a specialist job. Today we no longer use vellum for prickings, and use card and often sticky back plastic, so that isn't traditional either. However by having the pattern prepared for you is more in line with the old lacemakers than you perhaps realised.  
In addition, many people struggle with this, through difficulty seeing the pattern and focusing for long enough to do it accurately, or perhaps with hand problems or lack of time, and this overcomes these problems and enables lacemakers to start with an accurate pattern and therefore potentially improving the lace, and increasing time available to work it. 

What patterns are going to be available like this?
All the patterns that I have published in both my book and as individual pattern sheets will be available as 'Ready to work' patterns.

When can I buy them?
They will be launched on 6th October 2018 at the Fenland Lace Fair, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, and from 9th October online.

Where can I get the patterns?
The patterns will be available at lace days and fairs within the UK, and any other events I am asked to attend, and also through my website. I can post the patterns out worldwide.

How do I order the patterns?
Once you have decided which pattern you would like from the ones shown on the pages, send me an email to patterns@louisewestlacedesign.co.uk and I'll send a Paypal invoice to enable you to pay for them.

Can I still buy them if I don't have a Paypal account?
Yes, a Paypal invoice allows you to pay with any credit/debit card, it just means that they are handling your details and not me.

How much is postage going to be?
The price shown online includes postage worldwide. The patterns are packed in a fully biodegradable plastic bag and posted in a card backed envelope to protect them in the post.

I want a pattern that I have designed myself, can you do the pricking for me?
As long as it is in a digital format and can be saved as a PDF, yes.  There are other certain requirements, please contact me for exact information before sending any files.  I will be able to give you a price at the time, as long as you can tell me how many holes the pattern has - this is shown in the lace file (on Lace8) if you have designed it in layers.

What about a pattern from a book?
As long as you have the legal right to use the pattern, ie you have bought the book and you have the rights under the publication terms to use it for personal use, then it is possible. However it will need digitalising and this is the part of the process that takes some time, and therefore the cost will be higher.  It will also require a signature on a legal document to confirm you have the legal rights to use it under copyright laws.