How to Make a Mantilla

Written by michelle powell-smith
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Mantillas are traditional Spanish and Latin American lace shawls. They are worn to cover the hair, typically with a high comb atop the head. Today, mantillas may be worn as a hair covering or bridal veil. While a variety of shapes are possible, a large circle is the most graceful and traditional mantilla veil shape. The mantilla should be fine and drape well, so choose a very delicate lace when sewing one of these veils.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Fine tulle or delicate lace (the amount depends upon the size mantilla you desire)
  • Lace edging
  • Clear cotton
  • Fine hand sewing needle
  • Sharp scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing pins
  • Fabric marking pen
  • One to three clear hair combs

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Instructions

    How to Make a Mantilla

  1. 1

    Choose your fabric. The beauty of a mantilla is in the delicate and airy way it frames the face and drapes over the shoulders. A very fine, high-quality tulle, embroidered tulle, or lightweight fine lace will work well for your mantilla. A smaller mantilla, like one worn for church services, may be made of somewhat heavier lace, also with a good result.

  2. 2

    Decide on the size of your mantilla. A bridal mantilla might be as much as 4 or 5 feet in diameter, while a chapel veil mantilla should be no more than 18-36 inches in diameter. To determine the most flattering size mantilla for your face and gown, make a pattern of sorts by cutting a large circle out of muslin.

  3. 3

    Cut your lace or tulle to size. You may find it easiest to fold your fabric into fourths and mark a quarter circle on the folded tulle or lace. Use a sewing pin, string and a fabric marker to create a makeshift compass, if desired. Your string should be the length of the radius of your desired circle. Use sharp scissors to cut your mantilla fabric.

  4. 4

    Secure clear cotton with a few small back stitches and begin sewing the lace edging onto your mantilla veil by hand. Work with neat, even stitches all the way around the mantilla. Use a hand back stitch to attach the lace to the mantilla veil. This is the most secure stitch and will keep your veil looking beautiful throughout your special day.

  5. 5

    Stitch hair combs to your lace mantilla veil. Depending upon your planned hairstyle and the size of your combs, you may want one to three combs to secure your veil. If you are making a chapel veil or are unsure of how you will wear your hair, two small combs, spaced approximately 2 to 3 inches apart is a good choice. You can also opt for a single 3-inch comb.

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