Mirecourt - Economy - Artisanal - Lace

Lace

Lace making is believed to have been introduced to Lorraine only in the sixteenth century, when the art arrived from Lombardy with the violin makers sponsored by the Dukes of Lorraine. Peter Fourier, the priest at nearby Mattaincourt, who would subsequently become a saint in recognition of his energetic work resisting the Protestant currents from east of the River Rhine, established the Convent of Notre-Dame (Our Lady) and there encouraged instruction in lace making both at the school which was operated by the Sisters and at the orphanage. The project was a great success with daughters of rich families and with girls of the peasant class. By 1790 lace makers from Mirecourt were supplying merchants from abroad, and despite the political and social turbulence of the early nineteenth century, the lace business continued to flourish and grow, with the middle of the nineteenth century a golden age. Nevertheless, by the middle of the twentieth century lace had fallen out of favour and the industry locally was much diminished. It has nevertheless survived, and today, supported by 140 participants, the Mirecourt lace business has recovered some of its international reputation. Lace making courses and permanent exhibitions of the craft remain a feature of the town.

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