French Lace...

What is French Lace?
 French Lace is a light and delicate material that is bobbin woven to create intricate combinations of netting and shaped motifs.
Usually made up of floral and foliage assortments, to create beautiful patterns.
This elegant and feminine material is used either on it’s own, or layered over other materials to create infinite textural and colour depth variations.
 Originally woven completely by hand, the modern lace adaptations we see today are still woven by Leavers Looms in the North of France. Some of which have been in operation for 100-200 years!
French lace has been renowned amongst some of the best fashion houses across the world for it’s exquisite and fine detail since the early 19th century. It is especially popular in Couture ateliers, such as Chanel, Valentino, Christian Dior, Elie Saab and Jean Paul Gultier. As well as many high-end bridal designers like Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Reem Acra and Jenny Packham.
Below: Black lace dress from Valentino Couture
Below: Wedding dress from Elie Saab
Elie Saab Bridal Couture
A brief history…
The very first Chantilly lace was completely hand woven from fine silk threads in the 17th century, named after the city of Chantilly. This light, delicate and incredibly beautiful material soon became popular in Spain and the Americas. Chantilly lace came into fashion amongst the aristocrats during the time of Louis XV and Louis XVI era. It was a special favourite of Marie Antoinette and Madame du Barry.
Almost a century after the adaptation of the bobbin net machine, the ‘Leaver’s Loom’ was introduced in 1813 by John Levers in England.
In 1879, during the Napoleonic period, the very first Leavers loom was smuggled into France, from which thousands of delicate pattern and designs have now been adapted and fine tuned into exquisite works of art we see today.
Below: 19th century Leavers Loom
French Leavers Lace Machine Julia Logvin Couture Silk Lingerie
Below: Marilyn Monroe in an iconic French Lace gown for the premiere of 'How to marry a millionaire' 1953.
Marilyn Monroe; The Premiere of how to marry a millionaire, 1953
How French Lace is used in my designs…
The designs almost always begin with a careful selection and study of the lace I want to use. Taking the time to look at how the motifs can be assembled, how they can be cut to shape and flow around the body, what textures and colours work best with the silks I want to use. Everything is considered.
 Once I have decided on the lace and pattern I want to use, I cut each individual garment out by hand. The lace is then placed onto the garment pieces, pinned and hand stitched into place. When I am happy with the placement and everything is prepared, I will begin the free-hand embroidery done by a machine especially set up for this type of sewing.
 After the lace is embroidered onto the silk, I can begin to cut away some of the lace and silk to reveal a new pattern, completely unique to that garment.
Only then is the garment assembled and finished by hand with the final touches.
Having worked with many different types of laces throughout my career, there is nothing quite like a genuine French Leavers lace. The design, quality and handle is second to none!
Julia Logvin Intimate Couture French Lace Application
Julia Logvin Intimate Couture Gilded Rose Cami
Take a look at the video below to see how French lace is made.

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