Lace from separate pieces

At the start of the 17th century, the technique of producing lace from separate pieces started to appear in Brussels. Assembly-line work avant la lettre, this method made it possible to produce large pieces by dividing the work among several lacemakers. Once created, the various motifs were brought together using clamps or a base layer (such as drochel) in such a way as to reproduce the original design. This method made it possible to create ever larger pieces, since there was an unlimited amount of hands. This was the basis of the fame of Brussels lace.


Assembled lappets, early 18th century.