'Ruskin Lace' tablecloth

Circa 1900
Manufacturers Location
The Lake District, England (U.K)
100% Linen


Linen, with cutwork and needle lace.


Ebay, bought by Adam Sutherland


None, excellent condition

Why it's in the Collection

'Ruskin Lace' originated as a cottage industry in the Lake District. Along with friend and fellow member of the Guild of St.George, Albert Fleming, the Victorian Polymath and former owner of Lawson Park, John Ruskin realised the need to support historic local craft traditions such as spinning and weaving. Ruskin was said to have bought back lace designs from Italian churches during his travels, these were probably in the form of sketches rather than actual samples, as masterweaver Marion Twelves reinterpreted the designs by working directly onto the cloth - developing the famous characteristic of 'Ruskin Lace'. In 1890, a workshop was set up to teach the technique, that is still taught in the area today.

Ruskin Lace is an important addition to the Lawson Park collection due to its strong roots in local cultural history. Like the Ruskin cigar box also in the collection, the lace is another industry that Ruskin lent his name to, although this time its officially something he approved of!

About the Designer/Maker

The designer/maker is most likely a local crafts person.


Bibliography & Further information

The Ruskin Museum

Elizabeth Prickett sample in the V&A museum

Ruskin Lace with Elizabeth Prickett

Cumbria Record Office holds archive material on the Langdale Linen Industry