Points of interest

Dentelle de Calais-Caudry

Housed in a 19th century former lace factory, with a modern extension made of glass and steel, the building alone is worth a visit.

Dentelle de Calais-Caudry ® (Calais Lace)


Dentelle de Calais logo

Dentelle de Calais-Caudry® appellation is a registered and protected trademark, exclusively reserved for lace made on Leavers looms by master lace-makers 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-Caudry® (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


15th June to 31st December 2017
Immerse yourself in the world of Parisian haute couture from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Throughout his life, he has dressed a loyal cosmopolitan clientele including celebrities such as Jacqueline Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn, his muse and friend. The pieces on show demonstrate an acute sense of elegance and exquisite cultural refinement. Among other sources of inspiration, we recognise the influence of artists dear to the couturier such as Miró, de Staël, Delaunay and Rothko, but also the opulence of the eighteenth century with the use of deep colours, precious materials and sumptuous drapery.

From his 1952 "separates" to the vaporous wedding dresses in tulle and lace of his later years of design, 90 pieces pay tribute to one of the greatest couturiers of the twentieth century. They originate from prestigious private wardrobes, the Givenchy fashion house archives and the collections of European museums, including the large Givenchy holding of the Museum for Lace and Fashion.

Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais

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
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 designed 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.

Cite Dentelle Mode Calais-kate

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. 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. 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 Museum for Lace and Fashion takes visitors on an exceptional journey into the world 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!

Opening Times:
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

Photo credits: www.cite-dentelle.fr