I was at my mom's house to work on an art project with my niece. I was telling her about my indigo dye adventure and my need for more silk. She went to the garage and brought me her wedding dress and said, cut it up. Wow! The fabric is a beautiful dupioni silk and she said the lace is Alencon.
A quick google lookup:
Dupioni (also referred to as Douppioni or Dupion) is a plain weave crisp type of silk fabric, produced by using fine thread in the warp and uneven thread reeled from two or more entangled cocoons in the weft. This creates tightly-woven yardage with a highly-lustrous surface. It is similar to shantung, but slightly thicker, heavier, and with a greater slub(cross-wise irregularity) count.
Alençon lace or point d'Alençon is a needle lace that originated in Alençon, France. It is sometimes called the "Queen of lace." Lace making began in Alençon during the 16th century and the local industry was rapidly expanded during the reign of Louis XIV by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who established a Royal Workshop in the town to produce lace in the Venetian style in 1665. The purpose of establishing this workshop was to reduce the French court's dependence on expensive foreign imports. The local lacemakers soon modified the Venetian technique and Alençon emerged as a unique style around 1675.
Of course we had to play dress up... My niece modeled mom's dress, her mother's wedding dress, and a number of old prom and bridesmaids dresses. We didn't get much art done, but we laughed and had a wonderful time playing. Corinne was a great model, so slender and tall. I almost hate cutting this dress up.
The piece in the center is an old damask napkin that just doesn't want to dye. The silk on either side of it looks fabulous!
After rinsing until the water ran clear and letting the silk dry, I have the most beautiful silk to work with. Even mom is thrilled with it. Time to get to the sewing machine to create something with it!