The Fashion & Lace Museum features a new presentation of its Lace Room. With unseen, recently acquired or brought out of our storage items for the occasion, you can dive deep into the exceptional history of this fabric, that has now disappeared.
Lace is an openwork fabric made with a needle or bobbins. The motifs are connected to each other by a background of stripes or mesh. Initially, it was made by hand and later it was mechanised. Lace is distinguished by its techniques, materials, motifs, colours, etc. Most of the time, it is the place where they were first produced that identifies them: Brussels, Mechelen, Valenciennes, Bruges, and so on.
Brussels lace has gained international renown over the centuries. Its finesse, quality and beauty made it the preferred textile of the elites from the 17th century. It found its way to the greatest royal courts of Europe, adorning the apparel of both men and women.
For example, check out this handkerchief decorated in the typical style of the Napoleon III era; its scalloped edges are composed of alternating leaves and flowers.
A piece of recently acquired needle lace
This scarf in point de gaze and cotton was made with a needle. It dates from the second half of the 19th century, but entered the museum’s collections only in 2021, thanks to the gift of the Hynderick de Theulegoet family.
It uses a wide variety of points, allowing every shade of white to create both the motif and the background. All the parts are made separately and then assembled on a background made with a needle. And for details on the work itself, its inventory description is available here.
The lace of Carine Gilson
This Babydoll slip from the Garden of Lace collection, Spring-Summer 2019, is made of a fuchsia mechanical lace stitched onto silk muslin. The stitching of mechanical lace onto silk is the trademark of the House of Carine Gilson. It thus perpetuates expertise in Brussels lace.
The creator has honoured us by agreeing to become the patron of the Lace Room. The museum regularly exhibits an item from her collections. See the inventory description.