Whether it’s the trimmings of your favorite lingerie or the neckline of your dream wedding dress — lace never fails. For centuries, lace has added to the beauty and complexity of our garments and, on October 1, we come together to celebrate the delicacy of lacemaking and honor the craftspeople behind it.
History of National Lace Day
The origin of lace, a delicate fabric made by weblike weaving of yarn, can be traced back to Italy. The word ‘lace’ comes from the Latin word ‘Laqueus,’ which means ‘to entice.’ And we agree, there is no fabric more regal and ensnaring than soft, handcrafted lace.
In the earlier days of lacemaking, experiments with gold, silver, and linen threads were common. The art of making lace with silver and copper wire was revered in the 15th century. Owing to the deep relations between Queen Elizabeth I and France, lace came to England in the mid-1500s. After the industrialization of textiles, cotton thread lace dominated the market and wardrobes.
The craft of lacemaking, once mandated to be taught in the schools of Belgium, has traveled a long way. Catholic clergy, the Duchess of Milan, Queen Victoria, and the seamstresses of North America all wore lace and pushed the mantel forward.
The origins of this holiday are unclear, but the intent is clear. On October 1, we honor the rich history of lacemaking and wear our best lace dresses in celebration.
National Lace Day timeline
Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Milan, carries fine lace in her inventory.
Catherine de Medici, the wife of King Henry II, brings Venetian lacemakers to France.
America’s first lacemaking factory opens in Medway, Massachusetts.
Queen Victoria wears lace for her wedding and immortalizes the bridal lace look for eternity.
National Lace Day FAQs
Which country is the most famous for lace?
Belgium tops the list for exporting the best lace garments A 15th-century royal decree that mandated the art of lacemaking to be taught in school contributed greatly to the cultivation of lacemakers and handcrafters in the country.
Is lace expensive?
Lacemaking is a time-consuming process. A yard of curated lace can take days to finish, which ultimately contributes to its cost. Although its commercialization has dolled out alternatives that cheapen the cost of manufacturing, authentic lace is expensive — and it’s worth it.
How can you tell if lace is of good quality?
A good, expensive piece of lace will have gentle curves with a thick feel. It feels light on the hand and rubs softly on the skin. Bad quality is hard to the touch and becomes flimsier with each fold.
National Lace Day Activities
Organize a lace embroidery competition
“Pearls and pendants, roses and lilies, the lace await its own secret heaven.” Yes! October 1 is the best day to reignite your love for the craft and share it with the people you love.
Throw a fashion show
A great way to mark the end of summer is throwing a sweet soiree that incorporates a lace fashion show. Send an invite to all your friends and tell them to bring their best lace outfits for the show.
Visit a flea market
A great way to find nice lace antiques is the fleamarket. Hand-me-downs from 100 years ago might find their way to your local fleamarket and National Lace Day is a great day to celebrate that history.
5 Facts About The Global Textile Industry That Will Blow Your Mind
The biggest importer
The United States is the largest importer of garments in the world.
Most garments come from China
40% of garments worn by Americans are imported from China.
New York Fashion Week generates $20 million for the U.S. economy.
One of the biggest water wasters
The textile industry is the third-largest water-wasting industry, followed by farming and meat production.
The highest and lowest-paid textile workers
German textile workers are amongst the highest-paid personnel, whereas workers in the Philippines are amongst the lowest-paid.
Why We Love National Lace Day
It’s an excuse to dress fancy
Yes, lace in a wedding dress is the gold standard. But that should not stop you from rocking clothes that have a good lace treatment. Frocks, stockings, skirts… When it comes to lace, the options are endless, and there’s no better day for a fancy lace makeover than October 1.
It brings attention to a dying art
As the textile industry gained prominence, the cultural significance of delicate, handcrafted lace has dimmed tremendously. What started as the prime fabric of Catholic Church clerical attire is now reduced to an afterthought. National Lace Day shines a light on the deeply enriching history of this incredible man-made invention.
It promotes local craftsmen
October 1 is the perfect day to buy local clothes and furniture decor from your nearby antique/gift shops. Years worth of curated lace products, handcrafted by the artists of your community are waiting for you.
National Lace Day dates