Kantcentrum Brugge – Belgium’s Center for Bobbin Lace

June 6, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Posted in Lace, Museums and Exhibitions | 3 Comments
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Brugge was one of the places on my must-see list in Belgium. It is one of those pretty old towns with lots of old houses and lots of water that I was to find several times during my week of traveling around.

Brugge

Of course that also means the town is full of tourists and souvenir shops, but that’s to be expected. After a while I was taking care not to look into the windows of the souvenir shops, since the displays made me cringe. The lace that’s displayed as “handmade in Belgium” can’t possibly be both, given the prices listed. It has to be either machine-made or imported from somewhere where handwork isn’t as expensive. I wonder how many Asian tourists take home a piece of “Belgian Lace” that’s made the trip the other way round not long ago.

But I was here to see the real thing, after all. The Kantcentrum is located a bit off the beaten track in an unassuming building, so you’re not likely to stumble over it by accident.

Brugge_Kantcentrum

The poster advertising lace-making demonstrations is one of the few things you can see from outside. Inside, there’s a nice little museum with old lace as well as new and lots of information packed into a small space. While buying my ticket, I was also instructed to go upstairs to see the demonstration when I was finished with the exhibition. To my big surprise, there wasn’t just one or two ladies sitting there with their lace pillows, but a whole room full! There must have been something like 15 to 20 women there. It seems like the courses they give double as the demonstrations for the visitors. I was able to see different lace pieces in various states of completion – great eye candy for sure.

As a nice lady in Antwerp would be telling me a few days later, the Kantcentrum is the place to go to if you want to learn to make bobbin lace. When gathering my links for this post, I stumbled over the summer courses they give – lots of interesting things, I’d love to go one day.

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  1. What a lovely place to have stumbled upon in Bruges. We are very fond of the town. We went to the folk museum there, again off the tourist trail but well worth the walk. Hope you get to try lace making yourself. I often wonder at the term handmade when the prices don’t match. I remember being very disappointed in Greece once. We went to a village renowned for it’s potteries. There was one shop selling tourist tat. The potteries long gone.

    • Yeah, the folk museum is right across the road from the Kantcentrum. I’ll make sure to got there as well when I’m back – and I’m sure I will be back at some point.

  2. Hello! (Kelsy Janssens here, I work at the Kantcentrum Bruges)

    I just stumbled upon your blog, refering to our Lace center.
    I wanted to thank you for the lovely words you have written here about us.
    We are glad you enjoyed your stay and hope to see you soon for one of our summercourses maybe? 🙂

    Kind regards
    Kelsy Janssens (VZW Kantcentrum)


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