Thanks to Bev for this interesting article.
In fact, the first machine to make lace was developed in the late 1770’s from a machine that made stockings. This machine only made the netting or on which workers embroidered the lace pattern using a needle.
John Heathcoat, who worked with as an apprentice making fancy stockings, improved these machines and by 1808 he applied for a patent for a machine that produced a twisted netting that closely resembled Lille bobbin lace. This netting was still embellished with embroidery or tambour hook chain stitching. Some lace from Ireland had fine muslin appliquéd on the net. These machines were so successful that his factory was destroyed by those who opposed the use of this method. In 1812 an Act was passed which set the penalty for such destruction as execution. One man was executed for this crime.
The continued improvement of machines allowed for the pattern to be worked by a machine called a Pusher. The raised outline called gimp was still applied by hand. Some of this lace was difficult to distinguish from the handrun gimp such as Chantilly.
Other types of lace were made using only slightly different methods and machines. Tape lace was a popular lace making method using tapes embellished with needlework. Battenburg is a tape lace. Another type of lace was produced by using a sacrificial fabric of netting. Patterns were embroidered on this base and chemicals were used to remove the base fabric, leaving only the lace pattern. Schiffli lace is an example of chemical lace.