I am a beginning bobbin lacer who is almost ready to try a real project. The only problem, is that once I started researching uses of bobbin lace in period, I could find very few. I know that it existed in late period, but most of the ruffs/cuffs, etc. that I see in portraits look like they were done in another lace form (reticella? I'm certainly no lace expert...). Certainly none of the lace I see in portraits looks even remotely like the patterns I've been practising on. So what was bobbin lace used for? Was it just used as a ground for needle made lace? Or am I just looking at the wrong portraits?
If you are confused becuase none of the period laces you see look like Torchon, I think it is because that style was less popular in England and France than the braid laces. There is a surviving period bobbin lace pattern book, the Modelbuch which is mostly Torchon patterns, so perhaps the style was more popular in Germany. I have seen a few examples of Torchon lace in period portraits in Santina Levey's book Lace a History, but they are far outnumbered by the braid and tape styles.