Lier Lace

Example of Lier lace, worked with a tambour hook. Example of Lier lace, worked with a tambour hook.

Lier (Lierre) lace is a form of embroidered net lace produced in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the northern Belgian town of Lier. One story says that around 1825, a Mr. Timmermans married Miss De Keersmaeker, who ran a lace school in Lier. Together they developed a form of embroidered lace that used a tambour hook rather than a needle to decorate cotton bobbinet.

The tambour hook is used to make the outlines as well as the different fillings, with the aim of creating a stronger contrast between the open and worked areas of the lace.

The introduction of the Cornely machine in 1860 resulted in a significant loss of work for the Lier embroidered net makers. So they gradually moved over to beading and the use of sequins.  By the 1880's the Lier lace workers were well known for their beading, in particular their beaded evening bags, evening dresses and accessories. This trade lasted until the mid-1960's. At the beginning of the twenty-first century there were still a few companies in Lier producing beaded work and tambour embroidery, but their future was not secure.

The development of the Lier lace industry may be compared to that of the lace making industry in Luneville.

See also the TRC Needles entry on the Lier Centre for Textile Arts.


  • EARNSHAW, Pat (1988). A Dictionary of Lace, Aylesbury: Shire Publications Ltd., p. 101.
  • (retrieved 5th May 2016).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 29th June 2016).


Last modified on Saturday, 06 May 2017 10:24
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