A treasure at your fingertips
The cobblestone streets of Le Puy-en-Velay are home to many a secret. But there is one that everyone can now learn about. The Bobbin Lace Learning Centre is keeping alive the tradition and practice of lace-making. If you are feeling creative, the Learning Centre has a range of lessons and longer courses at different levels to learn or make progress in the lace-making art.
Le Puy lace is listed in the Inventory of French intangible cultural heritage. The goal of the Atelier Conservatoire National, founded in 1976, is to preserve the techniques of bobbin lace. It is helping to modernise the centuries-old art of lace-making in more contemporary works and styles (drawings, paintings, design, etc.)
The Crozatier Museum also has a fine collection of lace work and fascinating sample books on display for visitors.
Le Puy-en-Velay lace,
a source of local pride
There are skills that need to be cherished, preserved and celebrated! Le Puy-en-Velay lace-making is one of them, like a memory you never want to forget. The afternoons spent in couviges, gatherings of women in the villages, when the lace-makers took out their bobbin lace cushions and sat in the street outside when the weather was fine. They chatted and sang to the clicking sound of their bobbins…
All through the Middle Ages, the town of Le Puy-en-Velay, the starting point of the Way of St James, and a major pilgrimage centre, attracted large numbers of people, including merchants and peddlers. And it is thought that they first brought lace to Velay and taught local women the basic skills.
The Bobbin Lace Learning Centre also organises exhibitions highlighting the beauty of the lace-making art.