La dentelle de Calais® (Calais Lace)
The Dentelle de Calais® appellation is a registered and protected trademark, exclusively reserved for lace made on Leavers looms by master lacemakers of Calais and Caudry using a unique method of knotting between the warp and the weft, which dates back to the beginning of the 19th century.
The Dentelle de Calais (lace from Calais) was invented at the end of the 18th century in the English town of Nottingham and was imported to France through the port of Calais. The thread is composed of silk, linen, nylon or other fibre made by lace makers by hand or machine. The main pattern is flowers. France's haute couture industry has long relied on Calais to provide lace worthy of its designs
Exhibition - Décrayonner by Anne Valérie Hash
1st April to 13th November 2016
The Centre for Lace and Fashion welcomes Anne Valérie Hash, a leading designer of the French fashion scene. If, like me, you love French culture, you’ll be the first to this exhibition. It’s the first to be devoted to her in France, and it explores her first 13 years of designs. From Fillemâle, her debut collection in 2001, Anne Valérie Hash has defined her unique style. Deconstruct in order to construct more effectively; that, for me, is the concept that best applies to her work. She balances notions of modernity and tradition and works to unbalance symmetries and volumes. The Anne Valérie Hash – Décrayonner exhibition seeks to delve into the creative gesture, with around one hundred exclusive pieces and documents which decode this balancing of opposites.
Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais
This landmark museum recounts the history of the famous and celebrated mechanical lace-making industry of Calais.
Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais
Housed in what was once a 19th century lace factory, with a modern extension of glass and steel degined by the architects Alain Moatti and Henri Rivière, the building alone is worth a visit. Moatti and Rivière, who also designed the head office of Jean-Paul Gaultier Couture, wanted to highlight the value of the city's heritage, while creating a link with contemporary design. A long façade of screen-printed glass, with motifs from Jacquard punch cards of the Leavers lace machines, has been carefully grafted onto the original building.
A testimony to Calais' industrial past, the Museum presents the know-how, techniques and uses of lace throughout Calais' economic and social history. A particular highlight is discovering five Leavers looms in operation. The museum also presents contemporary aspects of lace production, establishing itself as a place of both memory and modernity.
It is a unique resource centre that attracts fashion designers and artists from all corners of the world.
Kate Middleton chose the in-depth knowledge of the tullists of Caudry (Nord "département"), who, for the last 150 years, have made a type of high-end Calais lace that is exported around the world.
The permanent galleries, covering 2500 sq.m., are divided into five sections devoted to handmade lace, the industrial history of lace-making in Calais, lace-making machines and the production workshop, fashions in lace in the 20th and 21st centuries, the present and future of lace.
The four fully-functioning Leavers looms a particular highpoint
An area of 500 sq.m. is reserved for temporary exhibitions. The centre also provides a venue for study, research, training, meetings, social events and creativity. It houses an auditorium, fashion show hall, specialist library, workshops for all ages in learning lace-making, lace conservation, fashion and design, an area dedicated to the profession, a shop, restaurant, etc.
The Museum for Lace and Fashion takes visitors on an exceptional journey into the word of lace.
Prepare to be dazzled by the lacy haute couture garments on display, and some very sexy examples of lingerie.
Getting there and around
Just a 15 minute drive from Eurotunnel's Calais Terminal.
Cité internationale de la dentelle et de la mode de Calais
135 Quai du Commerce
62100 Calais – France
Tel.: +33 (0)3 21 00 42 30
Discover the unique lace experience!
Open every day except Tuesdays, 10am to 6pm (5pm from 1st November to 31st March)
Annual closure : From January 1st to 15th, May 1st and December 25th
Book your journey