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At the origin of lace we are not going to stand still for a long time, mainly the sources should be sought in the East,

where fine fabrics were woven and processed. These precious materials were brought back by the Crusaders and later adapt to our Western style.


Where lace was first produced is a big controversy, Italy or Flandres?

Let us assume that the origin of bobbin lace is in Flandres, we see lace for the first time in a painting of Bruges painter, Hans Menlinck, this is the proof that the cradle of bobbin lace is in Flandres and Italy created the needle point lace.

We know for sure that both were created at the same time, namely at the end of the 15th century.








"Spellewerk" or bobbin lace was already practiced by the Bruges women in 1493, but it was in the 16th century that lace knew an unprecedented bloom. 

Charles V, the great emperor of the West, protected the lace industry, he foresaw that  lace would be a source of prosperity for his country. So he commended to teach this craft in schools.

Although the lace industry bloomed, our lacemakers did not create the most beautiful work that would challenge the admiration of Europe. The first bobbin lace were narrow tooth-shaped edges, that served to trim collars and cuffs.

Those geometric designs became more sophisticated and every city and area tried to specified their design.

In the 16th century, lace was one of the primary sources of prosperity in Flandres, also demand for lace was enormous as a result of that rich people,couldn't find maids anymore or had to pay them too much, so that it was f by law forbade for girls over 12 years old to make lace.







 Reticella, punto in aria, Italy (1580)


Old Flemish lace (1575)


During the 17th century, Belgian artist such as Rubens, Jordanian,…, had a great influence on the lace industry and they painted the lace on the dresses as if it were real on the painting.

The geometric figures disappeared and were replaced by flowers and leaves of plants of the region.


Under the reign of Joseph II (1765), lace experience a deep decline, he did forbade to wear lace but he didn't succeed in ending the home cottage industry.















Ventian lace (17th century)


Flandres or Antwerp (1770-1690)


Late 17th century, early 18 century lace had a full revival. There was a great rivalry between town's, lace cetnras and beguinages. The rough surface was further refined and got so very fine net ground. Lace was mainly produced in Bruges, Machelen, Binch, Brussels, Ghent and Ypres, the lace makers working at home sometimes over 16 hours a day, to provide for their livelihood.

Our Flemish lacemakers were honored for their finesses, their hard work and excellent craftsmanship.

For years the French Sovereign's had to prevent the excessive lace splendor. Despite the increase of taxes and restrictions in wearing lace, they couldn't prevent that lace both bobbin - and needle point lace to flourish continuously.

In 1660, therefor Minister Colbert of France, founded the royal workshops or "Manufactures Royal de Dentelles" and attract several Italian and Flemish lacemakers to France, So he could prevent that funds flowed out of the country.

The French Revolution that abolished all the privileges of nobles brought a fatal blow to the lace industry.








Point d'Alençon (1755),

Protected by the French King.


Malin lace, also called Queen of Lace



The  tide turned when Emperor Napoleon took a regime, he also tried to revive the lace industry in Flandres. 

The Empire Napoleon, brought back many ancient royal costumes, including wearing lace again was mandatory for the court dress, as in the time of Louis XVI


But the lace industry, was again waiting for a heavy blow, the invention of the mechanical tule in England was not a benefit to our lace industry. 

From them lace knows varying successes, yet the machines have never been able to suppress the hand made lace.

Their delicacy, passion and the pride which the lacemakers performed could never reproduced by a machine.












Point de Gase




Needle point lace, "Point D'Alençon".




Bobbin lace, "Valenciennes".



Mixd lace, Bobbin lace with details of needle point lace, 

"Point d'Angleterre".

Needle point lace, "Point d'Eeckent".