(French: point d'Alençon
), nicknamed the "Queen of Lace," is a needlepoint lace originated in Alencon, France. (Continue reading to see a close-up of the fine detailing displayed in the needlework of this stunning lace fabric.)
Sottero and Midgley ASM3297 Bridal Gown
is another great example of Maggie Sottero wedding dresses with this beautiful lace, displayed along the bodice, train, and beneath the side draping of the A-Line skirt
The History of Alencon Lace Fabric
Alencon lace fabric (pronounced "Ah-lahn-sawn") was developed by Marthe Laperriere, when she attempted to replicate the highly sought-after style of Venetian lace. Eventually, Laperriere created an improved, distinct variation of Venetian lace, which allowed the lace-makers to specialize in distinct tasks. Although this resulted in quicker production time, it still took 25 hours to complete a postage-sized piece of this intricate lace fabric. 25 hours!
For one little square-inch!
This particular style of French lace is light and airy, yet quite durable. Over the course of its development, this lace became increasingly fine, and the 10-step process became 13 steps. Alencon lace fabric became the finest and most delicately-worked of all the French laces; therefore, in order to increase its durability, horsehair was used in the edging, also known as the cordonnet
The backing of this lace is made of a fine netting, to which three different styles of filling stitches are applied, usually in a hexagonal arrangement, creating the shading, with closely-packed buttonhole stitches creating the edges of the motif (outlined by the horsehair cordonnet). This technique creates a small patch of lace, to which more patches of lace can be attached with the use of small joining stitches, in order to create a large piece of lacework. Because of the labor-intensive process of creating this lace fabric, it became the most highly priced lace, which also influenced its demand.
The French lace industry was promoted by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, under the reign of Louis XIV during the 17th century, with the intent of minimizing the French court's reliance upon the expensive imported lace fabric from Venice. Colbert established the Royal Lace Workshop
to produce lace influenced by the Venetian lace fabric. This new French lace soon developed its own distinct style, and became directly associated with Alencon, France, as well as Sedan, Arras, and Le Quesnoy.
Following the French Revolution (which took place during the years 1789-1799), the prominence of this lace fabric declined. But fear not, lace-lovers: Alencon lace fabric regained popularity in the 19th century, under the reign of Napoléon I, with the commission of several exquisite pieces.
Over the following years, the popularity of this French needlepoint lace continued to experience dramatic fluctuations, at times dwindling almost to the point of extinction, due to changes in fashion, as well as the development of machine-made laces. In 1976, the National Alencon Lace Workshop
was established in Alencon, France, in order to uphold the traditions of hand-worked needlepoint lace.
Today, machine-made versions of this luxurious lace can be seen in designer wedding dresses and veils, shown in the following examples of lace designer wedding dresses and Alencon lace wedding veils
from Wedding Shoppe Inc.
Alencon Lace Bridal Gowns
Lace A-Line Wedding Dresses
The Lace Sheath Wedding Dress
Lace Mermaid Wedding Gowns
The Lace Trumpet Wedding Dress
Empire Line Dresses
Plus Size Bridal Gowns
The French Alencon Lace Bolero Jacket
For the voluptuous bride looking for Alencon lace bridal gowns - Mori Lee Bridal Gown 3108
is a glamorous example of lace plus size bridal gowns
A bolero jacket
is a classic way to accent your wedding dress, whether you want to cover up for modesty, or for added warmth. Add lace to the equation, and you get absolutely chic wedding day style.
Tara Keely Dress TK2951
Alencon Lace Mantilla Veil
is shown with a gorgeous French Alencon lace bolero jacket (an excellent option, shown in white & ivory):
(For more details on this style of wedding veils, see: Mantilla Veil
J.L. Johnson V4837 Bridal Veil
is a gorgeous Alencon lace mantilla veil & provides a great close-up view of the intricate design of this style of French lace:
Beaded French Alencon Lace Trim Veils
Alencon Lace Flower Girl Dresses
Alencon Lace flower girl dresses are the perfect way to complement your own lace Alencon lace wedding dress – as seen in Forever Yours Flower Girl Dress 22103
, accented by lace appliqués at the waist: