Argentan Lace

Fragment of 18th century Argentan lace. Fragment of 18th century Argentan lace. Courtesy of the Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique, Brussels; photograph, © IRPA-KIK, Brussels

In the eighteenth century, Argentan was a form of needlepoint lace that was produced in Normandy. It is named after the local town of Argentan, which lies close to Alençon, another lace producing centre. Argentan lace is characterised by its very fine work, with sometimes up to ten buttonhole stitches per mesh.

Argentan lace was much appreciated at the French court in the mid-eighteenth century, and it was also very popular at the British court. The wedding train of Queen Charlotte (1744-1818) in 1760 contained much Argentan lace. Later in the eighteenth century, Argentan lace lost some of its popularity to the lace from Alençon with its simpler designs. In the mid-nineteenth century, some spectacular pieces of Argentan were produced by the Lefebure firm in Bayeux, but Argentan lace never recovered its former position.

Argentan needlepoint lace was made on a locally made hexagonal net ground, which is larger and clearly hexagonal, as compared to the net of the Alençon lace. 

The Argentan lace museum is located along the Noé Park (Maison des Dentelles et du Point d'Argentan).

Digital source (retrieved 10th May 2017).


Last modified on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 13:30