The real Chantilly lace in these square lace mirrored hallmarked silver cufflinks is sourced from France’s oldest lace making mills near Calais.
It is still made on looms that have been clattering away since the 19th century. The pattern dates back to the 16th century when it was the chosen embellishment for nobility.
The complex techniques of looming have been handed down from generation to generation and are kept alive in the small town of Caudry – famous for exquisite lace. Kate Middleton’s wedding dress lace came from here.
Hand finished in France, the lace is then imported to our London studios where it is fashioned with Perspex and sterling silver into the cufflinks. The lace is cut out of large pieces of the textile and carefully matched into a pair. Thus no two pieces are mirror images making them always unique in their pattern. These hallmarked cufflinks are inspired by 1930s art deco design.
Lily Gardner Lace Jewellery uses a particularly rare black lace still made in Northern France on original 19th century looms. This super delicate rose patterned lace is based on an original 17th design. Then, it was made by hand via an intensive sight destroying bobbin technique.
This method changed with introduction of looms brought from Nottingham to Northern France at the time of the Industrial Revolution. Solid British invention met French style and artistry – et voilå! The result was a lace which is now known as Leavers Lace (named after the Leavers looming machine from England).
Today, even though our lace is made on slightly more modern (?) antique looms, miraculously it retains the complex original design with all the detailed shadow effects of the flowers and foliage that make it so unique.
If you look closely too, you will see where the lacemakers have spent hours finishing the fabric by hand with intricate knotting.
Who Makes Our Lace?
Our lace, which is also used by France’s leading couturiers, is made in the small lace making town Caudry. Here, generations of French families have passed down the complex techniques of setting looms (with up to 7000 threads per pattern) and pattern ‘wheels’ – which hold a type of ‘magic ‘code for each beautiful and perfectly unique design.
The weavers – not only know how to set up intricate pattern wheels but are so skilled they can detect minor changes in the sound of the loom that indicate a broken thread. No alarms, just a keenly trained ear is needed!
Awe Inspiring Fact: One loom can produce only 60 metres of lace a day, and it can take three people two months to set one up.
Lily Gardner – Designer’s Note
“I first found this beautiful and very expensive lace in London’s Berwick Street in a shop famous for fabrics chosen by the Royal Ballet. I fell in love with this particular patterned lace but had no idea what I could use it for. Then I discovered the magic of Perspex, a crystal clear tough glass like type of acrylic – and an idea grew of creating a kind of armour for this extremely delicate textile. As if the lace was a fossil preserved for all time in amber.
The Perspex is ultimately modern whereas the lace is the embodiment of history, tradition and all things artisanal. A beautiful marriage. To me, it makes for an intriguing object that can be worn, observed and admired – daily. Which as you know, makes it completely rare. “ – Lily Gardner
Perfect wear - to - work wear. Black couture lace set in hallmarked sterling silver cufflinks.
The lace is layered on top of white matt silk so works well with a white or grey shirt. Discreet but fun.
Materials: Chantilly lace, Perspex, Sterling silver
Measures: 15 x 15 mm
See the intriguing making of lace story below.Have a look at our full range of cufflinks.Currently out of stock - email us for an update [email protected] or ring our store at 0207 352 8786.
Heavy white lace print of New Zealand fantail birds on a blue background make this gift card very special.
The card is designed and made in New Zealand - so a little of Lily's heritage here.
It is also perfect to go with lace anniversary presents too.