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Foreign Bobbin Lace: Belgium (formerly Flanders)

Click here for other foreign bobbin lacemaking.

Click here for English bobbin Lace.

I don't know much about Belgian lace, but what I do know is on this page. Please contact me to point out mistakes!

Languages: French and Dutch

Belgium lacemaker

Paintings of Belgium lacemakers: (click on links to see pictures)

The Old Lacemaker (1853) by Josephus Laurentius Dyckmans - detail above.

La Denteliere (the lacemaker) by Francois Antoine de Bruycker (1816-1882)

Belgian Woman Making Pillow Lace by Pie Tavello (active 19C)

The Flemish Lacemaker (1894) by Flora Macdonald Reid

Those paintings show details of lace equipment used in Belgium.

Flemish lacemaking term: These seem to overlap French ones. See French lace for this.

There were several famous lacemaking areas fo Flanders:
Mechlin - Mechlin ground has 3 half stitches in the plait.
Brussels - brussels ground is similar, but has 4 half stitches in the plait.
Binche - Snowflakes are a feature of Binche lace, and there are several different types. Pat Earnshaw in "A Dictionary of Lace" says under "Reseau" that one of the reseau or grounds is "patridge eye, oeil de perdix, fond de neige, snowflake ground: the characteristic reseau of Binche, sometimes found in Mechlin".

Belgium Binche lace

I have been told that this piece (above) is Binche lace, late 19th or early 20th century. It has kat stitch (which they call Point de Paris) and ringed snowflake ground. I have a few examples of what I think is Flemish lace in my lace collection (but I may be wrong!) Click here to see them.

Duchesse lace, a type of Brussels lace.

This is Duchesse lace, a type of Brussels lace. It is not in my collection!

armure-Binche

I discovered a ground called Armure-Binche in a book of bobbin lace stitches. Armure is French for armour. Binche is in Belgium, a lacemaking area (see above). Click here to see how to work Armure-Binche.

Bobbin lace started in 16th century Italy. In the 17th century, the textile centers of Flanders and Normandy eclipsed Italy as the premiere sources for fine bobbin lace. A folksong refers to "the charm and grace of the delicate lace she got from Brussels, the Belgian town".