Recently I was able to acquire two old petassons/petassouns, infant lap pieces, pieces piquees, or whatever name is most familiar to you. They arrived today, and I am looking at them and thinking over what they can tell me. Although these are not the work of professionals making very grand pieces in an atelier, they are the kind of work I like best - those made at home for family, showing different levels of needlework skill.
One is very damaged, the fabric has completely worn through in the center, rather like another one I bought before. However, the stitching is very fine and it is obviously the work of an experienced needlewoman. It has other condition problems, there are rust marks, a pen mark on the back which I hope will wash out, and holes in the edging - one corner of which has been patched with another piece of old embroidered edge. It is very old, it has survived the ups and downs of more than a century, and has undoubtedly passed through many pairs of hands.
The second piece is different. It is stitched well, but the channels are wider, the design is not as balanced and I think it is a later piece. It too has a border of trimmed batiste, and I cannot decide whether or not it was added later. It is the same color, so perhaps it was made this way, certainly there is no tape or other finished method before the lace. The stuffing is firm, the stitching is fine, and I will also reproduce this one, although I may modify the design a little.
Auf den Nadeln
6 hours ago