The international European Conference “SURPRISING LACE. ART&CRAFT CREATIVITY IN EUROPE” 19-21 November 2014, Riga

French Lace making, practices and values

As part of the French cultural heritage “Lace making” contributes to the creative economy by enhancing textile industries and “luxe” sector. Its place in fashion is currently significant and attractive especially in the Haute Couture. It is a great source for creativity and innovation through the ancestral culture and the great symbolic it transmits.

Lace skills are present in a lot of French territories. However, they are endangered and need to be protected and capitalized to avoid the loss of traditional and high value products. Alençon, Tulle, Le Puy, Calais lace, needle and bobbin lace in France.

To this end French government has initiated policies for the safeguarding of rare skills such as “The Inventory of rare crafts in France” in the framework of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage or the national label “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant”.

So the craftsmanship of Alençon needle lace making is now inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The conference welcomed a lot of European countries speakers and a huge exhibition in Riga Saint Paul Church showing the diversity of lace, traditional and contemporary, made of different material, cotton, linen, silk but also synthetic material, wood, metal, ceramic, natural fiber etc.

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