Look past the "grandma" effect. Doilies, however dainty, dusty and detailed, combine old-fashioned skills with modern elegance. The meticulous intricacies and labor-intensive configurations are reminiscent of a tangible snowflake.
Most of us are familiar with the ubiquitous paper doily, a standard issue under every cake in the pastry shop window. Or maybe your great aunts used them on their fine wood side tables or piano. Etymologically speaking, the word descends from the name of a London draper (Doily or Doyley), and dates back to 1711 (according to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary). The doily was made popular in the Victorian era where women learned this talent to decorate their tabletops and dressers with embellishments. Many young women would create several doilies for their hope chest prior to marriage. As with many handcrafted items, this skill, although not lost, is definitely not well known (at least in the younger generations).
The Megadoily rug from Ladies & Gentlemen should definitely inspire the above mentioned younger generations. The designer, Jean Lee, was motivated by an obsession with vintage doilies. Using cotton rope she managed to create what may be the world's largest doily (seriously, no record). Needless to say, this cozy cotton creation would look perfect among your holiday décor and wintery snowflakes.
Ladies & Gentlemen is a Seattle-based design group founded by Jean Lee (a designer with Chikabird ) and Dylan Davis (a designer at HenryBuilt). Their collaboration started in 2002 with a mutual interest in collecting vintage objects with character and charm. As students of industrial design they began re-purposing vintage objects and creating new objects based on old treasures. They also contribute to JOIN Design Seattle and Brite Collective, organizations that encourage and support independent design in the Northwest. Please check out their other uniquely cool designs on their website.
The Megadoily Rug
3' diameter: $300
4' diameter: $500
5' diameter: $700
Custom sizes are available by request.
Images: Ladies & Gentlemen
For more holiday doily inspiration read this past post.