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Taking traditional crafts to creative new domains, lace and crochet inspires decorative design.

Openwork takes on a new lease of life as experimentation in design springs forth noteworthy new reinventions of traditional handcrafts.

Hand crafts are the new cool. As we witness a revival of quality and craftsmanship, today's designers are looking back to traditional techniques. In particular, needlecraft has made an impressive comeback, from patchwork to tapestry, but none more so than lace. Diaphanous and delicate, its lightness and fragility has long held a fascination within design.

As creatives explore new materials and processes, openwork has taken on many new forms which, although they bare no similarity to traditional lace techniques that hark back to the 16th century, the visual influence is undeniable.

Laser cutting has become most favored for its decoupage, lace-like effect. Its openwork look offers the same ethereal appeal. An early proponent of decoupage design is Tord Boontje, whose Wednesday collection in 2001 marked a new spirit in design, reviving an interest in decorative arts with a 21st century spirit.

The versatility of laser cutting has introduced lace effect to the most unlikely of products as designers explore new materials, metal in particular. The intricate designs and shapes of Pamela Lindgren's pixel inspired furniture for Rarity, or the tattered, decadent appearance of Horm's Riddled, designed by architect Steven Holl is possible due to laser innovation.

Marcel Wander's Crochet chair is the more authentic in terms of technique. By taking crocheted fibers and soaking them in epoxy, the form becomes solid and sturdy, while retaining its finespun aspect – an interesting conversation between the fragility of its appearance in contrast to the strength and durability of the structure. These are just some of the ways that designers are taking traditional techniques to the forefront in brave reinventions, imbuing ancient arts and crafts with a new creativity.

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