d-i-y? lace chain-link fence


The Dutch design firm Demakersvan created this lace chain-link fence in response to a challenge by the Design Center at Philadelphia University: to create a site-specific work inspired by a collection of historic Quaker lace for an exhibition called Lace in Translation. Demakersvan totally transformed ugly industrial fencing by applying what looks to me to be tatting, the age-old technique of making intricate patterns of lace by hand, using a single thread. It’s such a simple and great idea to temper the almost universal ugliness and reproach (KEEP OUT!!) of chain link, it’s a wonder no one thought of it before. Demakersvan sums it up: “Like brambles fences are rising rampantly around us. What would happen if a patch of embroidered wire would meet with and continue as an industrial fence. Hostility versus kindness, industrial versus craft.

Demakersvan asked the simple question “What would happen if…? to find their brilliant idea.


If, in your mind, you superimpose the Lace Fence over the chain-link fences around vacant lots and industrial parks like these…



…you can envision them transformed by the “kindness” of lace.

Demakersan used a high-end metal fabric to create their fence, which is white and pristine. I wonder why not just apply tatting to a real metal fence – perhaps using a heavy industrial string or thread –  for a do-it-yourself version. My fantasy: learn to tat from from someone who knows how (like my friend Eleanor in West Virginia) or online from some careful instructions or a video

and start tatting chain-link…teach friends to tat chain-link… and set loose a small army of subversive tatters, changing the landscape.

12 Responses to d-i-y? lace chain-link fence

  1. Ellen Laprise 04.17.2012 at 8:03pm #

    Great idea!!! We are planning a Community Garden in Putnam, CT and are trying to agree on the nicest, yest durable fence. This is a very interesting idea!

  2. Sally 04.18.2012 at 12:08pm #

    And I recently saw a chain link fence used as a sort of loom; strips of plastic were woven in-and-out through the warp and weft. Made me think: what if you used some really beautiful material, or even a great color plastic?

    Please send us pictures with what you come up with.

  3. cheap clothing online 05.09.2012 at 2:28am #

    These are actually great ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  4. Fred Smith 03.05.2013 at 12:48pm #

    Wow! And to think that the trick to amazing, custom, chain link fences in Vancouver was just a little bit of lace. Thank you so much for sharing! I hope that my fence will look as amazing as those.

  5. Sally 03.05.2013 at 7:41pm #

    All right, you can sneak your link in here, since you DO actually make chain link fences. Only you really should lace em up!

  6. KitCat 04.23.2013 at 4:52pm #

    It makes for a friendlier fence because it doesn’t completely shut out the neighbors, or light for the garden.

  7. Laprunminta 04.23.2013 at 6:43pm #

    Not at all like tatting (which is awesome) 🙂 but very similar to embroidery on net in both style and execution.
    I love this example of large scale needle art. Thank you for sharing it online!

  8. Sarah 04.30.2013 at 5:57pm #

    I think the style is that of bobbin lace. I’ve been teaching myself how to do it, and the “net” pattern is one of the first and easiest.

  9. HnYFence 08.21.2013 at 12:52pm #

    Really cool idea. I’ve been trying to find out how it was done in the pictures I’ve seen online. It really does make the chain link fences look as decorative as the other types of vinyl and not so industrial. Thank you posting! I really want to try this out, but I think it would have to be with something more durable.

  10. Jenny Dermody 04.26.2014 at 11:01pm #

    I work at a summer camp, and would love a video demo on how to do something like this on the chain link fence surrounding our pool. We’re on a budget, so if you can suggest something durable that can be repurposed, I would appreciate any tips you have.

  11. Sally 04.30.2014 at 2:35pm #

    If you go to youtube and search “yarn bombed chain link fence”, you’ll find various iterations. Here’s one. Here’s a website that has a number of chain-link fence projects. And this book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti” target=”_blank”> might help you.
    All sorts of materials would work. The most durable would probably be nylon twine or string.

  12. Catalina 07.30.2015 at 9:06am #

    Nice. I think it works for public space, to make them more friendly.

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