Dentelle de Calais-Caudry utilisée dans nos ensembles de lingerie

Focus on our materials: Dentelle de Calais-Caudry®

At Nissē, our priority is to satisfy the well-being and health of women while maintaining the aesthetics of our lingerie. A challenging bet that pushes us every day to seek the most elegant and durable materials to meet our commitment: The perfect alliance between comfort, style and durability.

Nissē workshop Jean Bracq

Offering quality ethical lingerie and introducing women to exceptional know-how is what naturally led us to Calais-Caudry lace. It is Leavers lace in cotton thread, whose refinement enjoys an international reputation in the world of Corsetry Lingerie, which caught our careful attention. You can see the precious details on the neckline of our Rajaa bra.

Calais-Caudry lace: History and tradition

Lace is an art in which French know-how excels. For Nissē, it is important to highlight this local craftsmanship to offer you ethical and French lingerie. We have partnered with the Jean-Bracq house, located in the Nord department, one of the historic and founding places of Calais-Caudry lace.

From the 19th century, the commune of Calais then that of Caudry became the main centers of production of Leavers lace. An exceptional lace which has given the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region worldwide fame in this unique artistic craft. Today, it is still in this region that we find the most renowned lace companies supplying international lingerie and corsetry brands with quality lace. Some make up Haute Couture and women's ready-to-wear.

Today, 80% of the world's Leavers machines are concentrated in Calais and Caudry. To attest to the uniqueness of this woven lace, the Dentelle de Calais® brand was created in 1958. It is therefore impossible to confuse it with lace knitted using a more low-end mesh process which appeared at that time. In 2015, the modification of the Dentelle de Calais-Caudry® label made it possible to maintain the reputation of the material by providing geographical specialization and accentuating this regional know-how: Leavers lace is only produced in Calais and Caudry.

If Dentelle de Calais-Caudry / Leavers Lace enjoys such great renown, it is also because its manufacturing process uses ancestral machines while incorporating more modern techniques. Labeled a Living Heritage Company, the vast majority of lace factories in the region preserve a unique artistic craft in the world while modernizing.

The Jean-Bracq workshop: Between tradition and modernity

Since 1889, the Jean-Bracq workshop has perpetuated a tradition and know-how of excellence around Calais-Caudry lace. Maison Jean-Bracq is a family business which has seen 5 generations of craftsmen pass through, giving them an experienced outlook and unrivaled technique. This is why we are very sensitive at Nissē!

The oldest machines manufactured by Dentelle Leavers are veritable behemoths of 10 tonnes of cast iron and 6 meters high, dating from the first half of the 19th century and carefully preserved by expert mechanics. The Leavers profession has the particularity of being able to reproduce the work of the expert hands of lace makers thanks to a system of interlacing weft and warp threads. Today, we no longer make such machines. This heritage has therefore been preserved in these factories for decades in Calais and Caudry.     

The touch of modernity in the manufacturing process lies in the digitization of the ancestral Jacquard cardboard. In the past, this Jacquard cardboard was used to transcribe the patterns that the lace should take. Technology from the 2000s allows new electronic Jacquard machines to have unparalleled responsiveness and efficiency. What contributes to the success of made in France: The technology is improved but the product retains its high quality.

The journey from design to fabric

To better understand how Leavers lace manufacturing works, we offer you an overview of the manufacturing process: A process in 7 steps!

Above all, you have to think about lace, it is the work of the sketcher and the designer. it is on paper that the lace patterns are thought out. Then, the drawn models are faithfully transcribed into threads and materials. The sketch is thus presented in the movement of loom bars. Then comes the drilling stage, where the design is transferred to a computer which digitizes the information. The famous electronic Jacquard?

lace drawing photo

Meanwhile, we prepare the weaving machine to create wonders. Since the thread is the main element of the lace, it must be ready to be delivered to the machine. This is why the warping and wapping stage are essential. These steps involve spreading the threads onto warp rollers.

Then place the winding. For wheelers, this involves winding 150 meters of wire per metal spool which is the heart of the Leavers machine. The presser is then responsible for distributing the coils according to their different thicknesses. Final stage of preparation: the winder fits and places each spool of wire on a support called a “carriage”. Once the cart is filled, it can be installed on the loom to weave the lace.

During the manufacture of the lace on the Leavers loom, the tull maker, Frédéric Blanchard, checks that each thread is compliant. The specifications are very meticulous, and the craftsmen monitor each stage of manufacturing for a perfect finish. The eye of experienced artisans is always present to ensure the quality of lace production. This expertise requires years of learning.

lace reassembly

The trolleys are also subject to constant care by real specialists. These mechanics who know their machine perfectly are essential for lace manufacturers.

Fabric defects are marked by tullists when the machine is working. Next comes the homemade mending. Here, craftsmen repair machine errors by hand. This part of the manual work thus allows for perfect quality which is the prestige of Calais-Caudry Lace . It is Sandrine who picks up the threads of the plot.

Once precisely picked by hand, the lace is dyed in a company in the region. And finally, after returning from the dye house, the lace will be examined one last time by the mender Fanny to perfect the last details. Teamwork in which craftsmen are involved at each stage of the manufacturing process.

Ethical and French lingerie

It is following all these steps that we receive, at Nissē, the Leavers lace so dear to our lingerie! Calais-Caudry lace is the perfect symbiosis between traditional know-how and modernity. It is a high-quality and sustainable French craft that allows us, at Nissē, to offer the best for the women who wear us.