From the 16th and up to the 19th century was the golden age of beautiful and complex hand made needle point and bobbin lace. Lacemakers from Venice, Chantilly, Brussels and Alençon created their unique styles of timeless and gorgeous laces.
Only in the 1808 near Nottingham in England the first mechanical loom for fine bobbin lace tulle was created. And at the same time in France Joseph-Marie Jacquard invented another loom that could be programmed by perforated cards (that’s why they are called Jacquard fabrics).
So after the English machines were exported to France a Leavers loom was born. Enormous, mechanically programmable machine weighing between 10 and 15 tons that produces finest and most delicate laces. From 19th century and until nowadays almost all of them are still here and working in the north of France, Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.
And all the best french laces we have now still pay homage to the original hand made bobbin laces and the techniques of the 16-18th centuries recreated on the 19th century mechanical machines and by hands of lacemakers and designers.
So here’s a gallery of these original laces in the european paintings of 16-18th centuries.