One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(Also more fully "punto a maglia quadra") a type of lace worked by darning patterns on netting.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Fanny Palliser (1805–1878), writer on art. From Italian punto a maglia from punto + a in + maglia (1267; either from Old Occitan malha or from Old French maille.
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