The lace of Calais-Caudry

French lace-making tradition, dentelle de Calais-Caudry

The art of lace weaves together tradition and modernity, people and looms. In Northern France, in the heart of the red-brick factory of Maison Sophie Hallette, men and machines work together.

Here, lace first springs from the fingers of the sketch artists. With the help of their pencils, they begin a pattern, the traces of which are carefully transcribed and sent to the machines. From there, winders and tullists take over. They bring the threads to life, spinning them into the pattern. This is how twelve tons of fabric become delicate, elegant lace.

Then come in the repairers, the inspectors, and the scalers. With their expertise, they seek out any flaws on the work that just came out of the machine. This work takes no less than 15 hours. Their little hands finally finish the perfected lace with feathers, sequins, and gold thread.

A darling of the fashion industry, lace is highly esteemed in outerwear and lingerie. Maison Sophie Hallette has been responsible for some of the most sublime dresses of all time, gracing the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Kate Middleton.

In his Lyon workshop, designer Nicolas Fafiotte transforms lace into stunning evening wear. Inspired by this precious fabric, he’s created dresses worn onstage and over red carpets. Lace’s history is that of old knowledge and authenticity.

Caudry in Northern France 

The lace factory of Maison Sophie Hallette is located in Caudry in the Hauts-de-France region.