Taking a Look at the (T-Pattern) Laces
By: Bob Christman
| TAKING A LOOK AT THE (T-PATTERN) LACES
There are presently seven lace descriptions described in the standard. They all have two things in common. They are all T-patterns and they are all to have fine distinct lacing.
1) Andalusian (indigo spread blue T-pattern) - "Wingshield with fine but distinct lacing in each feather."
2) Dark check (T-pattern) - "...each check (feather) is finely but distinctly edged with the lighter background color of the wingshield." (Note: includes silver, blue, ash yellow, ash red, khaki and brown T-Patterns)
3) Dominant Opal Dark Check (Dominant opal T-pattern) - "Dark checks to be laced. Lacing to be fine but distinct."
4) Gray Lace (reduced spread blue T-pattern) - "...each feather in wingshield to be edged with a darker (darker than wingshield) fine but distinct lacing... Wingshield light gray with fine but distinct darker gray lacing."
5) Khaki Lace (reduced spread brown T-pattern) - "...each feather in wingshield to be edged with a darker (darker than wingshield) fine but distinct lacing... Wingshield pale cream with fine but distinct light khaki lacing."
6) Peach Lace (reduced recessive red spread blue T-pattern) - "...each feather in wingshield to be edged with a darker (darker than wingshield) fine but distinct lacing... Wingshield pale cream with fine but distinct peach colored lacing."
7) Pearl (dilute indigo spread blue T-pattern) - "Wingshield with fine but distinct lacing in each feather."
Good lacing is the one outstanding feature that truly defines the laced colors. It is the one significant feature that separates the laces from all the other colors. Good lacing is sought after by the lace breeders of most of these colors and when a well laced color is exhibited it is much admired by those who view it.
COMMON LACING FAULTS
Lacing that is too heavy, wide or fat.
Lacing that is indistinct because the edge of the feather is only partially laced, smeary, too fine or lacks too little contrast to the background color of the wingshield.
Feathers in the wingshield are missing lacing.
Picture 1 ? Andalusian exhibiting excellent lacing. Each feather in wingshield is exhibiting fine distinct lacing.
Picture 2 ? Andalusian exhibiting indistinct lacing. This lacing is indistinct and smeary and should be considered a fault.
Picture 3 - Gray lace exhibiting excellent lacing. Each feather in wingshield is exhibiting fine distinct lacing.
Picture 4 ? Peach lace exhibiting indistinct lacing. This lacing is significantly indistinct and should be considered a fault.
Picture 5 ? Silver T-pattern exhibiting good lacing. Each feather in wingshield is exhibiting good distinct lacing. Lacing in what would normally be the bar area is too wide but the overall lacing is still good.
Picture 6 ? T-pattern exhibiting missing lacing. The missing lacing is significant and should be considered a fault.
EVALUATING LACING FAULTS
Lacing is to be judged under the "Evaluating Faults" section of the standard: "If a fault is expressed to a small degree or slightly it should be considered a minor fault. If the fault is expressed to such an extreme that it is no longer representative of the breed or color it should be considered a major fault."
Good lacing is what defines and makes these colors and should be given significant consideration when evaluated in the judging pen. If any of the laced colors exhibit an excessive amount of wide lacing, indistinct and/or missing lacing it should be considered not representative of the color and be considered a major fault.
How much of the wingshield has to have heavy lacing, indistinct lacing and/or missing lacing before it is considered a major fault? When 10% of the wingshield has poor lacing? When 20, 30, 40, 50 percent of the wingshield has poor lacing? That point where a lacing fault goes from a minor fault to a major fault is at the discretion of each individual judge. However in each judge?s determinations there should be some point where poor lacing would go from being a minor fault to being a major fault.
Good lacing is the essence of what makes the laced colors what they are. Good lacing will reach out, grab your attention and WOW you. In contrast, poorly laced birds are the total antithesis of what good laces should be, like a red self saturated with blue is totally not what a good red self should be, or a black self with smoky color is totally not what a good colored black should be, a laced color with poor lacing is totally not what a good laced color should be. Andalusians, T-patterns and gray laces with weak or poor lacing are but poor imitations of what a good lace colored bird should be and should be penalized in the show pen accordingly.
QUALITY OF LACING AND THE SHOWS
By far the most common laces we see in the shows are the andalusians, gray laces and blue T-patterns. Occasionally peach laces are shown and less frequently pearls.
The breeders of andalusians, gray laces and peach laces have spent years perfecting the lacing and many good examples of those colors can usually be found in the shows every year. The quality of the blue T-Patterns on the other hand, has yet to improve to the same level as we find in the andalusians, gray laces and peach laces. Many of the blue T-patterns in our shows have poor lacing. In some cases, the color and lacing of the blue T-patterns does not look much different then the unimproved blue T-pattern color seen in the common street pigeon.
BLUE T-PATTERNS ARE LACES ALSO
Why are we do we see so many blue T-patterns with poor lacing? After speaking with some West fanciers I believe that in general the west breeders and judges do not think of blue T-patterns as being laces and therefore give little consideration to the quality of their lacing. We in the West fancy need to change our mindset to one where good lacing in the T-patterns is considered just as important as good lacing in the andalusians, gray laces and peach laces.
WESTS - AMERICA'S COLOR BREED
Color matters in Wests ? the reds are RED, the blacks are BLACK, the andalusians and gray laces are LACED. If the reds are not a good RED, the blacks are not a good BLACK, and the andalusians and gray laces are not well LACED they are considered inferior. The T-patterns need to be held to that same standard.
T-patterns with good distinct lacing are very striking and fulfill the image of the West as America?s color breed. In contrast selecting blue T-patterns with unimproved common street pigeon coloration for awards is contrary to the image of the West as America?s color breed. Who wants that?
Taking a Look at the (T-Pattern) Laces