The variety of types of lace made at this time shows that lace making in Russia continued developing during the whole of the 19th cent. Two centers showed great originality in their works. The first was the town of Mikhailov (Riazan). The lacemakers adopted a patternless method. They worked without a set pattern, from memory, pieces decorative and colorful, with geometrical motifs, as to decorate peasant costumes, household use, and especially towels. The cotton gimp on plain linen background created a delicate combination of two shades of white, or with color. The second of the two centers it was not far from St. Petersburg. They have no contact with other lacemaking centers except Vologda. This isolation led to the creation of an individual style. The lace was made without a pattern and designed a stock of about thirty motifs that they reproduced from memory. Fancy figures were formed of scallops.
Last years of the nineteen cent., Russian laces came into fashion in Western Europe. They were constantly shown at exhibitions. However, the growing demand for it was very difficult to satisfy, as there was no organization to supervise lacemaking in Russia. The industry expanded but this could not ensure high quality. Linen thread was gradually changed to cotton, which was cheaper.
In the 1900s, the women lacemakers were exploited by their employers, who paid them a mere pittance (the abolishment of serfdom was carried out in the year 1861). As the lace was from hand to hand, its price rose three times over.
Although the schools played a positive role in the development of lacemaking, radical changes were necessary for the whole system of lace production. This reorganization took place in the first years of Soviet power. Thus, the first cooperative was aroused in Vologda in 1917. Started then new work associations, in other traditional lacemaking centers.
After organizational questions were settled, measures were taken in order to improve techniques. Various refresher courses were offered to working lacemakers and they were trained in three newly opened industrial art schools: in Vologda, Yelets, and Leningrado.