Great Britain

Countryfile’s Sean Fletcher mortified as local fumes ‘what have you done?!’ during botched crafting demo

Countryfile's Sean Fletcher made a mess of lace-making in front of a pair of local experts - who were NOT impressed with his efforts.

Presenter Sean Fletcher, 46, took on the challenge of lace-making in last night's episode.

He asked, “can I have a go?” and viewers were educated on how “lace is made from several strands of thread tied to the bobbins”.

“The threads are intertwined to create a pattern and each stitch is held in place with a tiny straight pin as it’s being worked,” the pros explained.

As Sean started lace-making, he claimed that the craft was a “piece of cake.”

However, despite his best efforts and a great start, Sean soon botched up his design as a local onlooker and teacher remarked “Oh Sean you were doing so well. What have you done?!”

Sean laughed at her observation and looked for confirmation that his design was “right”. However, the expert prompted him to re-do it.

Talking about the intricacy of lace-making, the episode explained some of the histories.

An intrigued Sean asked the lace-making local experts where the different lace designs get their names from.

Viewers learnt styles such as bucks point ground are inspired by protestant lace makers who arrived in Britain as refugees in the sixteenth century.

It continued to mention how different cities in the UK had distinct styles. For example, Bedfordshire’s lace “often has a plaited edge with round leaf patterns.

Meanwhile, Devon’s lace is known for its “complex” floral designs.

Elsewhere in the episode, Sean visited a village where the “ancient craft” of lace making was “poised to make a comeback”.

Viewers were informed, “From the early 16th century, Buckinghamshire was a leading centre of English lace-making. And across its rolling countryside, there were women in villages painstakingly creating local lace for the wealthy.”

It added, “While some of those cottages have survived to this day, the lace industry has all but vanished. But there’s a mission to revive it.

Lace was expensive to buy due to the time-consuming production as one inch could take almost ten hours.

The Industrial Revolution in the 19th century and mechanisation saw the demise of the traditional handcraft lacemakers.

Will lace-making ever be brought back?

Countryfile continues on Sunday at 6pm on BBC One and then on iPlayer.

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