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International Centre for Lace & Fashion

Prepare to be dazzled by Calais lace, famous throughout the world

Dentelle de Calais Museums

La dentelle de Calais® (Calais Lace)

Dentelle de Calais logoThe 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 fiber 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 until 31 December 2014

On aura tout vu - Paris fashion house

The International Centre for Lace and Fashion welcomes the fashion house 'On aura tout vu'.

The International Centre for Lace and Fashion welcomes the fashion house 'On aura tout vu'.

Loyal to lace from their beginnings in 1998, the designers play freely with the codes of fashion. Embroidery, painting, welding, sculpture and textile printing are juxtaposed, blurring boundaries between fashion, visual arts and stage costume. Their extravagant and festive fashion is based on conjuring up sensations - a true common theme of the fashion house.

Lace creations

Extravagant and original creations, far from conventional classic Haute Couture fashion.

The exhibition hinges on little theatres to be discovered via an interactive itinerary punctuated with aural and olfactory surprises. Designs from collections, unique creations for showbiz, objects revisited - an ecclectic, poetic and playful universe awaits!

International Centre for Lace & Fashion

This landmark museum recounts the history of the famous and celebrated mechanical lace-making industry of Calais.

nternational Centre for Lace and Fashion in Calais is built in the heart of a 19th-century former lace

International Centre for Lace and Fashion in Calais

Housed in a 19th century former lace factory, with a modern extension made of glass and steel, the building alone is worth a visit. The architects Alain Moatti and Henri 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 grafted onto the original building.

A testimony to Calais' industrial past, the international centre of lace and fashion is also turned towards the future, offering a dynamic environment. The centre of lace presents the know-how, techniques, economic and social history, and uses of lace, but also its more contemporary aspects, establishing itself as a place of both memory and modernity. A particular highlight is discovering five Leavers looms in operation.

It is a unique resource centre with the potential to attract fashion designers and artists from all corners of the world.

Kate Middleton chose the know-how 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. Read more...

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

The four fully-functioning Leavers looms a particular highpoint

An area of 500 sq.m. is reserved for temporary exhibitions. Finally, 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 Centre for Lace and Fashion takes visitors on an exceptional journey into the word of lace.

The Centre 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.

Discover the unique lace experience!

Getting there and around

Just a 15 minutes 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 2100 42 32

Opening Times:
Open every day except Tuesdays, 10am to 6pm (5pm from 1stt November to 31st March)
Annual closure : From January 1st to 15th, May 1st and December 25th

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Book travelTravel with Eurotunnel from £23Prices start from£23per car, each way*
*£23 Day Trip & Overnight - Ticket must be purchased as part of a 2 day return. Return must be completed by midnight (local time) on the second calendar day.