Merletto, pizzo, trina are synonyms for lace which indicates artefacts obtained out of nowhere, without any textile support, by combining stitch upon stitch with needle and thread or interweaving a certain number of threads spooling off special reels, named bobbins. Other techniques use crochet hooks, knitting-needles, the tatting shuttle or, in macramé, simple knotting of threads by hand.
Main technique typologies: needle and bobbins. The point in the air is made starting from a design, bordered by tacking (warping), raised above a wooden cylinder (murello) placed on a padded cylindrical cushion (cuscinello). The construction of the decorative motif (called guipure) proceeds alternating a great variety of points and creating the background (barrettes or sbari in the Venice point or rete netting in the Burano point), finally adding embossing and filling. In the bobbin technique, once the design is affixed onto the tatting cushion (placed on an overturned scagno stool, in a basket or on the knees), one proceeds to braid a certain even number of threads spooling off wooden bobbins (fuselli or mazzette) and fixing the progressive steps by means of pins. Work may be with unbroken threads or in separate parts.
Materials. In the past, threads of superfine linen, but also of silk, gold and silver, were employed, while since the 20th century, cotton in particular. The main characteristic of needlepoint lace is its consistency and in bobbin lace its lightness.