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Alencon Lace

Alencon lace (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.)

From our collection of Maggie Sottero wedding dresses - Maggie Sottero Karena Royale Gown provides a stunning example of a full Alencon Lace wedding dress
Maggie Sottero Karena Royale GownMaggie Sottero Karena Royale Gown
Maggie Sottero Karena Royale Gown

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
Sottero and Midgley ASM3297 FSottero and Midgley ASM3297 B
Bridal Gown Style: Sottero and Midgley ASM3297

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
Casablanca 1891 Bridal Gown is a great example of lace A-Line wedding dresses - with beautiful layers of Alencon lace creating the tiers of the a-line skirt
Casablanca 1891Casablanca 1891 B
Casablanca 1891 Bridal Gown

The Lace Sheath Wedding Dress
Tara Keely Dress TK2053 shows how beautifully elegant an Alencon lace sheath wedding dress can be:
Tara Keely Dress TK2053 FTara Keely Dress TK2053 Z
Tara Keely Dress TK2053

Lace Mermaid Wedding Gowns
Another great Alencon lace wedding dress is Blue by Enzoani Bridal Gown "Concord" – the perfect style for brides searching for lace mermaid wedding gowns
Alencon lace wedding dressAlencon lace wedding dressAlencon lace wedding dress
Blue by Enzoani Bridal Gown "Concord"

The Lace Trumpet Wedding Dress
Watters and Watters Bridal Gown Aurora shows a stunning example of a lace trumpet wedding dress
Alencon lace wedding dress Aurora
Watters and Watters Bridal Gown Aurora

Empire Line Dresses
If lace empire line dresses are what your heart desires, Watters and Watters Bridal Gown Jasmine is pure elegance:
Alencon lace wedding dress JasmineAlencon lace wedding dress Jasmine B
Watters and Watters Bridal Gown Jasmine

Plus Size Bridal Gowns
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
Mori Lee Bridal Gown 3108 FMori Lee Bridal Gown 3108 B
Mori Lee Bridal Gown 3108

The French Alencon Lace Bolero Jacket
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 is shown with a gorgeous French Alencon lace bolero jacket (an excellent option, shown in white & ivory):
Tara Keely Dress TK2951 WTara Keely Dress TK2951 I
Tara Keely Dress TK2951

Alencon Lace Wedding Veils

Alencon Lace Mantilla Veil
(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:
Alencon lace mantilla veil
J.L. Johnson V4837 Bridal Veil

Beaded French Alencon Lace Trim Veils

Bel Aire Wedding Veil V7018 has beautiful beaded French Alencon lace trim accenting its edges:
Beaded French Alencon Lace Trim Veils
Bel Aire Wedding Veil V7018

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:
Alencon Lace Flower Girl Dresses

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