World-Class Belgian Lace


Buying lace in Belgium Follow Me on Pinterest

Shopping for lace in Belgium

Belgium is famous for its chocolates and beers, but one important Belgian export which is perhaps not too well-publicised is Belgian lace. Belgium’s lacemakers have been a vital contributor to the country’s economy since the 12th century and if you’re interested in lace, Brussels and Bruges are two of the best lace producing centres.

The Emperor’s Edict

Belgium’s lace trade began in the early Renaissance when Emperor Charles V decreed that lace-making should be a compulsory skill for all girls in convents and beguinages throughout Flanders. A fashion at that time was to have lace on collars and cuffs for both men’s and women’s garments and the lace trade reached its peak in the 18th century.

Lace, as well as tapestry were highly prized luxury crafts in the past. It was a status symbol of nobility to own intricate lace and fine tapestry

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Belgian lace collar

and the good lace-makers usually had aristocratic patrons buying up their work. The lace fashion still comes around every now and then and I’m sure that ladies of a certain age will remember owning a blouse with lace collar at some stage.

Belgium’s World-Class Lace

Belgium is today home to the best lace and tapestry studios in the world and if you’re interested in lace, Brussels and Bruges are renowned for their delicate lacework. The larger and more intricate pieces of lace are not cheap, but it’s possible to buy small pieces as souvenirs or gifts. All around town in Brussels and Bruges you’ll come across shops selling lace and tapestry and in fact in most Belgian souvenir shops you can buy beautiful little pieces of lacework for a few Euros.

Belgian Lace Follow Me on Pinterest

Belgian Lace souvenirs

Lace Museum

If you appreciate lacework, the Musée du Costum et de la Dentelle documents the history of this craft. The ground floor of the museum has lace costumes from the 18th – 20th centuries and on the second floor are a collection of antique lace.

Musee du Costume et de la Dentelle
Rue de la Violette 12
1000 Brussels

Please comment.


  1. avatar says

    Does anyone know where I can buy online the hanging round lace souvenir decorated with flowers? I bought two instead of three when in Belgium. The souvenirs are shown on this web page. Thanks.

  2. avatar says

    Hi Sharon,

    The picture above was taken at a souvenir shop in Wollestraat street in Bruges. There are plenty of souvenir shops selling the round lace souvenir that your’re interested in, but unfortunately I don’t know of any online shop that has them.

    Kind regards,

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