A French needle lace known as the ‘Queen of Lace’. It was originally worked in the town of Alençon and known as point coupé. In 1665 Louis XIV’s minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s established a national lace manufacture and Venetian school of lace in the area, as a means of encouraging people to buy national rather than Venetian or Spanish laces and thus keep money in the country. At this point, the lace was known as Point de France. It is estimated that at that time the trade employed 8,00 to 9,000 hands. Although the lace workers initially produced copies of Venetian and Spanish point, the grounds and motifs developed over time, with increased royal patronage and attending popularity and commissions, into a lace synonymous with exquisite craftsmanship, the most elaborate needle point lace in France.

The Alençon chamber of commerce created a lace making school in 1903 in Alençon to transmit these skills and techniques, which are still kept alive by a handful of experts.


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