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Lace And Making Lace

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

The application of machinery to lace making has cheapened lace that would otherwise always have remained expensive, and has consequently deprived a large number of the inhabitants of towns in France and elsewhere of a lucrative source of income. The great centers of the manufacture of real lace, as hand-made lace is called to distinguish it from machine-made or imitation lace, are Belgium, France, and England. In the former country there are at least 000 lace schools, and over 150,000 women find employment in this trade. Brussels lace, which is of very fine thread and intricate design, has a world-wide reputation. Mechlin lace, a fine and transparent web, is made at Mechlin, Antwerp, Lierre, and Turnbrout. Valenciennes is largely made in Flanders, but is extinct in its native city, from which it derived its name. The towns of Ypres, Bruges, Courtrai, Menin, Ghent, and Alost produced this lace in large quantities and fine quality. Before the introduction of machinery the number of lace-makers in France was estimated to be at least 250,000, but this number has been greatly reduced within the last few years. The celebrated Point d'Alencon lace, which is made entirely by hand with a small needle, in small pieces, which are afterward united by invisible seams, is made chiefly at Bayeux. Another favorite lace, the Chantilly, which was formerly made almost altogether at Chantilly, is now made at Bayeux and Caen. Lille lace, which though simple in design is fine and beautiful, is the production of the town of Lille. The lace of Bailleul is strong and cheap, and extensively used for trimming. In the district of Auvergne, of which the town of Le Puy is the center, over 100,000 women are employed in lace-making, and nearly every kind of lace is made. The industry is considered more extensive and more ancient in this district than in any other portion of France. In England the counties of Buckingham, Devon, and Bedford are the centers of lace-making. The most widely known of the English lace is Honiton, so called from the town of this name in Devonshire The manufacture of hand-made laces was an important industry in Nottingham some years ago, but it has been al-most entirely destroyed by the introduction of machinery. Lace is made to a limited extent in Limerick, Ireland ; also in Scotland, and in fact in nearly every country in Europe. The imitation or machine-made lace is manufactured in Caen, France ; in Nottingham, England; and also in the United States.

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