The lace machines built by Heathcote and John Leavers revolutionised lace into a mass production industry.The machine was used for demonstration purposes in a patent trial, regarding the John Heathcote model for the first bobbin net lace machine and those put forward by a Mr Browne, in 1816. The trial decided for the Defendant. Heathcote's 24 plus patents for lace machinery, together with those of John Leavers, collectively revolutionised the mass manufacture of lace and brought the lace industry to the fore in Nottingham, over and above that of the earlier textile industry, framework knitting. The object demonstrates the move away from hand-made pillow lace, to mass production, becoming one of the industries for which Nottingham was renowned. The object was given to Nottingham City Museums & Galleries by an Alderman of the city in the 1880s.
The lace machines built by Heathcote and John Leavers revolutionised lace into a mass production industry.