Lace archive - visual identity found in The Hague

The inspiration for this archive comes from my curiosity about lace. Where can we find it? Who has it? What forms does it take in our lives?

Out of all the definitions of lace, I believe that Merriam Webster's dictionary fits my project the best. Lace is described as: an openwork usually figured fabric made of thread or yarn and used for trimmings, household coverings, and entire garments.

Throughout this page, I will introduce different categories of findings, describe each piece and answer my own curiosities. I hope that you - the viewer leave the page wanting to explore the lace that lives around you.

I have divided my pictures into two categories and subcategories. The first one is the main focus of the archive - Lace curtains:

  • Simple lace curtain designs;
  • Lace details on curtains;
  • Common lace curtain designs;
  • Crochet curtains;
  • Unique lace curtain designs.
And another category is - Miscellaneous lace. In this part of the archive, I have gathered actual lace and objects that remind me of this craft in its structure:
  • Open net ventilation structures;
  • Garment/accessory lace;
  • Round "lace" objects;
  • Entrance "lace";
  • Window on/behind glass.

Lace curtains

During my many walks to find lace, surrounding me, I quickly came to the conclusion that curtains are one of the most popular lace crafted objects in the Schilderswijk area, on which I based most of my search around. The reason for this lace curtain conclusion could be the racial and ethnic diversity.  It is a neighbourhood in The Hague, which is considered a super-diverse city. Super-diverse can be communities or cities that have no majority of any sort. Thus it means that every group is a minority.1 Schilderswijk is populated by almost 90% of people who have non-western migrant backgrounds such as Turkey, Surinam and Arab countries.2 In many of these countries, Islam is the main religion that blends into their cultural practices. For example, Muslim women have to cover themselves for religious practices and the home becomes the place where this does not have to be practised. My speculations are that curtains, especially lace, create the privacy Muslim women want in their homes, while still letting light through the windows. In Arab culture, privacy is an important matter. 


In general, Arabs do not discuss personal matters outside of their family, and speaking poorly about a relative is seriously frowned upon. You can see how important privacy is to Arabs even in the ways their homes are built. Often there will be parts of the house specifically designated for visitors, even going so far as to have separate areas where female guests sit with the female hosts by way of a separate entrance,  with the men generally meeting in the living room or “salon” designated specifically for male guests. In small homes or apartments,  the arrival of guests is timed so that they will not see members of the family with whom they have no need to see. If this can’t be arranged, then meetings are often done outside in cafés or other mutually agreeable locations.3

From my own experience, in more native and 'white' neighbourhoods, it becomes almost apparent that Dutch people do not care about the need for privacy, and have way fewer curtains. I can see through the windows into people's kitchens, dinners and living rooms with massively decorated windowsills. Online sources claim that this is rooted in Calvinism and the belief of having nothing to hide, yet others take a more straightforward answer, such as the need for light inside one's home.4

Simple lace curtain designs


These lace designs are one's that in my opinion look very simple and could be found anywhere. In a way sometimes I don't recognize them as lace until I look closer, because of the most common designs are big floral patterns

Lace details on curtains

Maybe it is due to prefences and style but lace details on a curtain are not as popular in my living area. I think that this type of design creates a unique decorative window, breathing in atique elements with valanc and gathers

Common lace curtain designs

Even though I called these lace designs common, every single one of them is one of a kind. The commonality comes from shapes, flowers and the way the curtain has been designed

Crochet curtains 

All of these designs fashion net structures with floral patterns

Unique lace curtain designs

These lace pieces were the one's that captured my eye the most. I could not find anthing similar to each of them, thus naming them unique

Miscellaneous lace


Open net ventilation structures


These metal/wooden stuctures remind me of the most simple lace net-like structure

Garment/accessory lace


This section of the lace is inspired by small finds in my daily life

Round "lace" objects


Entrance "lace"


Sometimes not only windows have lace-like appearance. In this section I have gathered a few ways entrances have been decorated with lace-like designs

Window on/behind glass


Designs that I have seen on windows that look like lace to me, or lace seen as a decor piece behind the window