The History of Alencon Lace
Alencon lace is perhaps one of the most detailed and beautiful pieces of lace ever made. Created in the 1660s, it gets its name from the city of its origin: Alencon, France. During that time, most of the royals and aristocrats were purchasing their lace and clothing from the surrounding countries of Spain and Italy. In order to entice them to buy French, the king decided to create Alencon lace. It was a way to promote the economy of France and limit dependency on foreign countries.
The lace quickly became one of the most coveted adornments in the country. People were paying fortunes to have it line their clothing, bedding, draperies, and even bath linens. It became extremely expensive and was only available to the social elite. For that reason, most factories were destroyed during the French Revolution. Many of the workers carrying the knowledge of how to sew the delicate lace were scattered or killed. Because of its affiliation with aristocracy, its delicate pattern barely survived the war.
It made a brief reappearance after the war, but was extremely rare because of the lack of knowledge in how to perfect the embroidery. It later would go out of style and be all but forgotten. Now, it is still considered to be one of the most beautiful laces in the world. While not the most durable, its embroidered pattern is very popular and elegant in sewing projects. Most styles are still modeled after the time period in which they were created, in order to pay homage to its beautiful history.