No need to tell anybody that lace belongs to the Belgian heritage!

Ask any foreign visitor to talk about Belgium and you'll soon hear: beer, chocolate and lace...

Flanders has a longstanding tradition in the development of lace. Ever since its first appearance it was called Flanders' lace. The production was concentrated around the bigger cities and every region developed little differences that made a typical lace. So we speak about Mechlin lace, Brussels' lace, lace from Beveren, Turnhout, Binche, Valenciennes... Sometimes it was called after the country where it was made for: Puntos de España, Point d'Angleterre.

Ever since the occurance of lace, there were two big 'families':

the bobbin lace: thread was winded on bobbins and by twisting and crossing the bobbins a motiv or design was created.

the needle lace developped from embroidery.

During the 17th and 18th century lace was very fashionable. Flanders' lace was very valuable and sought after. Techniques were passed on over generations and almost every house in Flanders had its lace pillow. There were school to teach the lace techniques. Most of them were in East Flanders.

The industrial revolution (19th century) meant the end for home made lace. The lace makers found a better paid job in factories and the lace pillow was put aside. Some schools remained until the second world war, mainly convents.

Lace making remains a marvellous art. From an economical point of vue it may seem less interesting, but through studying the old techniques, by preserving them and passing them on, we can promote our beautiful laces. By using new materials and introducing differents arts into the lace world, we create pieces of art that keep on amazing the visitors of our lace exhibitions.

It's no wonder that Flanders' lace belongs to the immaterial heritage in Belgium and we are proud to be part of it!