On line lecture: Lace in Antwerp, 1550 to 1913

Frieda Sorber, Belgium    

Black silk lace in Antwerp Archive

26 July, 2023  Wednesday   16:30 CET

From cutting edge fashion to niche markets in Middle and South America and the northern Netherlands.  Antwerp never gave its name to a specific type of lace. Nevertheless, it was a hub for lace making and international commerce from 1550 to the early 20th century. The city played a major role in the development of straight laces, better known as Mechlin, Valenciennes and Binche. 

Document with black silk lace, Antwerp 1670’s

Frieda Sorber was a lacemaker long before becoming an art historian/archeologist in 1976.   She started lace making after seeing an exhibition on the history of lace in Antwerp in 1967. From 1977 Frieda worked in the Sterckshof museum as the organizer of the exhibition and stayed on as a curator of textiles for the collection that ended up in the Fashion Museum in Antwerp.  She has worked on numerous exhibitions and lectured on lace and other textile subjects in Europe and the United States. Her almost lifelong interest in lace culminated in the exhibition and publication “P.Lace.s” in Antwerp in 2021. She is currently working on the very early history of bobbin lace. 

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