Background Information | the Museum's Lace Gallery

Calais City of Lace

background information/ factory shops
History of lace-making in Calais

New museum of lace-making and fashion in Calais

This dramatic new centre opened in 2009 in an old 19th century lace factory, with a futuristic glass and steel extension.

It presents the social history and manufacturing secrets of Calais lace, along with a showcase for lace in today's fashion abnd design.

See Leavers machines create lace before your eyes, and find out about the future of lace.

There is a restaurant and shop.

Calais International City of Lace and Fashion
The NEW International City of Lace-making and Fashion - in Calais (Wikipedia, credit: Serge Ottaviani)

History of Lace-making in Calais

lace museum
1. Old Leavers machines can still create lace.

Lace-making machines
You're looking at a machine that brought new prosperity to Calais after the Napoleonic Wars - it makes fine lace [see '
History of lace-making']. Not many people know that much of the world's lace for wedding dresses and ladies' underwear comes from Nord/Pas-de-Calais!

Examples of stylish lace
This new museum has a collection of over 400,000 pieces of machine- and hand-made lace. You can see the early machines that created this industry, and find out how they were smuggled from England. There are examples of designer lace dresses and lingerie from the 17th century to the present day - together with information about the social context of lace-making.
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Old and new...
2. Traditional lace head-dress, once worn by peasant women on special occasions
3. Modern 'haute couture' from Paris fashion houses often uses Calais lace.
4. The Museum's vast collection of pattern books includes many special lace items made to commemorate special events, like this lace doily made to mark Louis Blériot's flight across the Channel in July 1909. [see Timeline]

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Location: 135, quai du Commerce, 6100 CALAIS
[in town centre]
Information/ group bookings:
Tel: 00 33 3 21 00 42 30
Web site (with pages in English)

Background Information
History of lace-making
Textile industry
Industrial revolution in north France
Regional Art Galleries - and Art MENU




Factory shops - to find bargains in lace © Copyright 1999-2010 Invicta Media. Last updated 15th November 2010