Caudry Lace Museum

Contemporary designer lace - made 1995

19c lace machine
19th century lace-making machine;
the paper roll passing through the "mangle" on the left controls the loom on the right

Machine-made lace and "haute couture"
Caudry is almost as important as Calais in making lace. Here they specialise in luxury designs, employing almost 6,500 people and exporting 80% of what they make. They supply "hate couture" designers in Paris and worldwide.

19th Century Origins
The first machine-lace-making factory was set up in 1823, 7 years after Calais. Firms in the Cambrai area first introduced machines that made lace by the roll for curtains and tablecloths. From the 1880's until 1914, this was the leading French centre - but the German occupation of the area during the First World War left its factories in ruins.

After the war, the industry was rebuilt. Using modern technology, it developed its specialism in "designer lace".

A lace dress by the Paris designer Christian La croix - from his 1995 spring collection

Sample of 19th century lace from the museum's collection

The museum
In the elegant old Carpentier lace factory (built 1898) you can see a reconstructed workshop, and the Museum's collection showing two centuries of changing fashion in lace patterns, garments from dresses to fine underwear, and lace-trimmed accessories.

The Museum workshop

A video shows a history of machine-lace-making, and explains all the stages of production from initial designs.

Factory Shop*:
Temporarily closed in 1999, this shop in the last remaining large mill in Caudry, sold lace curtains, tablecloths, lace-trimmed pillows, etc at about 40% below French shop prices.

Background information
Textile industry
"Shopping Trail"

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Museum - Musée de la Dentelle de Caudry, place des Mantilles, 59540 CAUDRY
Factory Shop* - Carpentier & Preux, 55 rue de Bruxelles, 59540 CAUDRY
13km SE of Cambrai: leave autoroute at Cambrai, take N43 south-east, turn R onto D16A to Caudry
Information/ reservations:
Museum - Tel/ fax: 00 33 3 27 76 29 77
Factory Shop* - Tel: 00 33 3 27 85 01 75
*CLOSED 1999 - PHONE to check if it has re-opened.





© Copyright 1999 Invicta Media Last changed 7th February 1999