A green crocheted doily or antimacassar. Doilies are small ornamental, openwork mats traditionally placed under cakes or other sweet foods. They are named after a 17 century London draper of the same name (spelled Doiley). Doilies, which are still made by handicrafters today, can be crocheted, tatted or knitted from cotton or linen thread. In the early 20th century there were many doily patterns available for crochet or knitting, in various shapes and designs. The ‘fillet crochet’ technique was used, staring from the centre and working outwards.
An antimacassar is a type of doily used to protect the backs and arms of chairs and sofas from soiling. They were originally developed to protect furniture from the macassar oil used as hair conditioner in the 1880s/early 1900s; macassar originally being the name of cloth flap ‘collars’ on sailors’ shirts to keep the oil off their uniforms.