Antique Lace Galloons

Sometimes, it seems that all my posts overlap.  This is one of those times.

When I blogged about the shadow smocked Easter dress for my granddaughter, I mentioned that I would tell you about the lace I used.  And I will.

As I was gathering my thoughts, it occurred to me that the most interesting thing about the lace is the use of the galloon as insertion.  So I want to tell you about that and other galloons I have used for both insertion and edging.


galoon FI

French Val galloon, with two decorative edges, 1-3/4″ wide



The antique lace I used for my granddaughter’s Easter dress was purchased at a veritable once-in-a-lifetime estate sale where I still sometimes shop when I am in Dreamland.  The creamy French Val lace is a beautiful ivory color, achieved by age rather than dye. Two  bolts of a classic pattern available yet today came home with me.


French Val edging, 1-1/4" wide

French Val edging, 1-1/4″ wide


I found the intricacy of  the pattern in combination with the gentle color to be very pleasing.  But I needed insertion for the skirt.

If you look carefully at the scalloped edges on the galloon, you will see how easily it converted to an insertion.  Without the perfectly straight lines of traditional insertion, the galloon requires a little more care when it is stitched to the flat skirt fabric.  But it certainly passed.   The soft curve of the scallops make this do-able. More dramatically curved edges would have been a major challenge.

galloon used as insertion

galloon used as insertion



I’ve used galloons in other garments.

fagot galloon

fagoted galloon~two pieces of white edging fagoted together with yellow thread



For Laurel’s Easter dress two years ago, a very unique piece of fagoted galloon was used as insertion in the fancyband

fancy band

lemon fancyband

and as edging on the butterfly sleeves.

fagotted sleeve

On Chery Williams Wedding Ring Dress, a galloon was used for the edging on the sleeves, collar, and at the hem.  Of course, there was no gathering thread, so I first rolled and whipped one side over a white machine quilting thread.  It worked just fine.

wed ring sleeve

And one more thing…..On a few occasions, I have split a wide galloon into two edgings.  By rolling and whipping over a heavy thread, quilting or 30/2 cotton, you can turn that galloon into twice as much serviceable yardage.

Galloons are most often used for straps on nightgowns or sundresses. Until I had a need to use them for other purposes, it hadn’t occurred to me that they were so versatile.

The next time you see a galloon, I hope you will think about the options it might offer.

This is my post for White Wednesday.  Check out the pretties there.

4 responses to “Antique Lace Galloons

  1. As usual, you have given us great information along with gorgeous examples! I have an old piece of light pink galloon cotton lace and I’ve never known what to do with it. I’ll have to dig it out and think about the options!

  2. Great! I look forward to seeing what you do with it, Lisa.

  3. Hey Friend! When you fa–ot (I can’t use that word anymore or this might go to spam…) I assume you machine stitch this, what thread, needle and stitch do you use? Do you use a stabilizer? I love the yellow lace joining stitch and look!

  4. I did nothing, Terri. I bought this galloon as is, on a bolt, from a little old lady who claimed to have an attic full of beautiful laces. Suzanne and I met her twice at an antique mall where she had a booth and bought several vintage notions, books and laces, including a few hanks of coronation cord. That’s where I got my copy of The Mary Frances Sewing Book. She would not let us come to her home to see the lace because she said her house was too messy. No doubt, the lace was rotting in that Florida attic as we chatted with her! She did not show up for our third appointment and a short while later, her things were removed from the mall. I think she passed away.

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