There are so many different types and aspects of lace with the name Brussels placed in front of them that it would seem as if the Belgian capital had cornered the market in lace production.

Illustration: Brussels pillow lace.

Belgian or Flemish lace was without doubt one of the premium centres of Europe for hand lace production and many towns in the area had their own proud tradition of lace making. One of the reasons for Belgium being so much a centre of lace production was the high quality of flax grown in the area, so much so that the annual flax harvest and linen production was jealously guarded. Lace making has always had linen at its core and the quality of this raw material can make the difference between good and great lace production. However, it is the quality and skill of countless lace makers that really gave Belgian lace its well-deserved reputation.

Illustration: Brussels applique lace.

Although Brussels lace itself originated in and around the city, it would be a mistake to assume that all lace examples with Brussels in the title, originated there. Like so many types of lace across Europe, the origin name is often just that. Brussels lace was reproduced as a type, rather than as a source.