NEEDLE LACES all employ the same basic technique. The pattern is fastened to a backing fabric. Foundation threads are then couched down along the lines of the design with threads which pass through the pattern and underlying fabric. The design motifs are then filled with rows of buttonhole stitches, each end of the row being linked to the foundation thread. The motifs can then be joined with short bars or a mesh ground of buttonhole stitches. The motifs can be further embellished by attaching extra threads to the outlines with yet more buttonhole stitches. This raised outline (cordonnet) can be decorated with picots (decorative loops). Once the lace is finished it is released from the pattern by cutting the threads which couched down the foundation threads.

As with bobbin lace, different styles of needle lace are frequently named after the place where they were first made. Today lacemakers often take techniques from various styles to produce something distinctively different.

A description of a bag decorated with needlelace that I made can be found on my own website.