Freehand lace is bobbin lace worked directly on the fabric of the lace pillow without using a pricked pattern. Very few pins are needed (in most cases, only at the two edges.)
The very early bobbin laces were probably made freehand, as pins were scarce, coarse, and expensive. At first, the laces were purely utilitarian: “seaming” laces (insertions) joining narrow widths of fabric, and toothed or scalloped laces reinforcing the edges (edgings). Many of the later freehand laces were also functional, but some areas produced very wide ornamental laces.
Textile arts are those arts and crafts that use plant, animal, or synthetic fibers to construct practical or decorative objects.
Textiles have been a fundamental part of human life since the beginning of civilization, and the methods and materials used to make them have expanded enormously, while the functions of textiles have remained the same. The history of textile arts is also the history of international trade. Tyrian purple dye was an important trade good in the ancient Mediterranean. The Silk Road brought Chinese silk to India, Africa, and Europe. Tastes for imported luxury fabrics led to sumptuary laws during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Industrial Revolution was a revolution of textiles technology: the cotton gin, the spinning jenny, and the power loom mechanized production and led to the Luddite rebellion.