Leavers lace is the most expensive and aspired lace in the world.
Only a few manufacturers of this type of lace remain in Northern France and the machinery has changed little since its creation by the Englishman John Leavers in Nottingham, England in 1831.
Sophie Hallette is one such family run French lace company that specialises in Leavers Lace. It was with Sophie Hallette that Sarah Burton created her lace of choice for Kate Middletons Royal Wedding Dress.
Leavers lace is much more delicate and is more intricately patterned that other laces and it can be made of cotton, silk or synthetic yarns.
Some of the machines in the Sophie Hallette Factory are 100 years old and much of the process is still done by hand from the design sketch of the lace to the finishing and adding any embellishment such as sequins, beading or crystals.
Just threaded up a leavers machine can take 2 people 2 months.
The sound of them in action is a soothing, steady, hum much like an old fashion steam train and they are covered in a smooth sheen of charcoal used to ensure the smooth running of the machines.
New leavers machines have not been manufactured in decades so you are unlikely to see made in China leavers
This season Sophie Hallette has enlisted the services of CHIC to create its latest lookbook. Envisaging lace as a work of modern art it is gorgeous fresh look at an much loved fabric for lingerie.
Get your French Leavers fix at www.sophiehallette.com
Or if you want to support the British Manufacturing industry check out www.clunylace.com