Knotted net was a textile which had been used by fishers and trappers since ancient times. In the 16th century, refined versions with small grid structures were developed to be used by embroiderers as a ground fabric as they created fashionable new fabrics. Using a simple darning stitch, fanciful patterns, which related to the popular design aesthetic of the day, could easily be developed.
As can be seen by the examples displayed here, a variety of colors and materials were used, but linen white work was particularly popular. This embroidery technique, frequently associated with lace styles, is often called lacis.