Three drawings by Teresa Whitfield: Nottingham Lace, Red Lycra Lace Top and Richard Shops Blue Lace Dress in 'Lost in Lace' Ningbo Museum, Ningbo, China.

The exhibition spans more than 250 years of lace making, including: hand-made ‘bobbin’ lace; the earliest known example of Nottingham made-made lace from 1769; unique and complex one-off exhibition pieces from inventive Victorian manufacturers; modern textiles by world-renowned design firm Timorous Beasties; 17 dresses and accessories covering 180 years of female fashion; contemporary artworks by Teresa Whitfield and Nottingham-based artist Joy Buttress; lace made for Royalty (including Queen Victoria’s knickers!); as well as films and documentaries commissioned by Nottingham Museums from its Lace Unravelled international conference and lace festival held at Newstead Abbey in 2016.

Although the great industrial production of lace in Nottingham has largely gone, as economic changes have moved the industry overseas, Nottingham still has many individual craftspeople who work in lace and their works are highly-prized. Nottingham has continued its centuries-old industry, with modern inspiration, and has adjusted to more modern tastes. Nottingham Museums continues to collect lace to enrich its collection of Nottingham-inspired textiles, and Lost in Lace celebrates and showcases the legacy of this material to the world.

The exhibition will show in Ningbo, which also has a history of textile manufacturing, until September 2020 before travelling to Nanjing until late December. Nottingham Museums also hopes to secure further venues throughout the world as part of this tour, including North America and Canada.

Lace and Lacemaking in China is an international touring exhibition organised by Nottingham City Museums & Galleries, Nottingham City Council.