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ANTIQUE FRENCH LACE
"LONG HISTORY SHORT"

by
Sophie Juramy


According to the Legend lace was invented during Middle-Age 15th Century by a young Lady in the center of France in le Puy-en-Velay. A bishop had asked her to design a delicate costume to dress the Holy Virgin and she had the idea to braid threads together to create a delicate and transparent new kind of fabric : LACE.
Lace popularity was due to pilgrims from Saint Jack of Compostel road crossing this French town.
Some other ones say lace was imported from Italy during Renaissance!

Anyway during 17th century "lace" became very popular to ornate collar, cuffs, gloves, boots...
Then a kind of "business" network was settled between Lace Makers in villages and Lace Collectors to distibute and sell laces.

During French Revolution 1789 it was forbidden to make lace. Lace makers had to hide themselves to be able to go on.

Most of lace were made of cotton, hemp and linen.
To be able to face competition Designers from Le Puy-en-Velay created  in 18th Century a new type of lace called "BLONDES" made of silk.



SILK BLONDES LACE FROM LE PUY EN VELAY


All sorts of lace were created. Professional lace makers have created specifications with a "Stitch" name keeping the name of their Town of origin such as :

*Alençon lace, probably the most expensive, needle lace with embroidered loops highlighted more or less.
*Calais lace, mechanical lace on 19th Century Leavers Loom.
*Chantilly lace , bobbin lace with silk thread designing baskets, vases and flowers.
*Cluny lace, bobbin geometrical lace.
*Le Puy-en-Velay lace, silk Lace, geometrical bobbin lace with "point d'esprit" stitch.
And so on ...
*Guipure lace, lace highlited by small cords.
However Cluny lace could be created in Le Puy-en -Velay , Chantilly lace in Calais and so on...
Hand-crocheted lace is more a "home" made lace.

Lace making was taught in French school and in orphanage until early 20th century.

Mechanical lace started early 19th century and is still on in France.


Lace making is part of  French Cultural Heritage!


Please Enjoy!



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