USINES AND MACHINES
Usines is the french word for factories, in our case those where the lace fabric was made by the Lacemakers of Calais.
The machines started as crude timber frames with levers and pedals operated by a man sitting in the frame. Technology and human inspiration saw these basic frames develop into sophisticated but noisy metal machines with many moving parts able to produce very wide fabric of net or tulle with intricate but delicate patterns.
In England the lacemaking industry developed in the midlands with Nottingham becoming the major centre. In France the industry developed in the north and in particular in Calais.
USINES - FRANCE
Usine Boulart - Calais Lace Museum
Usine Boulart Calais
The Boulart Lace Factory
The above view taken from Rue du Pont Neuf is probably of the abandoned building after the lace workings were removed. The "bow windows" created when the Leavers machines were lengthened to accommodate the jacquard heads can be seen projecting from the facade.
Usine Boulart today as the "Calais Lace Museum"
Usine Boulart today as the "Calais Lace Museum".
Aerial view shows the 3 building wings and the central yard which originally housed the boiler house and it's steam engine.
Plan - Lace factories in Calais and St Pierre in late 1800s
Usine Topham Calais
The Topham Lace Factory in Calais
The Gaillard lace factory was constructed in St Pierre-les-Calais by M. Joseph Napoléon Gaillard and his son in the 1890s within an old lime factory on most of the block of land bounded by rues Gaillard, Archimède, du Four à Chaux and Masséna. The factory continued to be expanded and renovated during the twentieth century by successive generations of the Gaillard family. The building was abandoned in the 1990s and has been renovated and now houses a public high school, the Collège les Dentelliers with its address at 42 rue Gaillard.
Other former lace factories in Calais including the Lefebvre factory in rue Auber, have been renovated and repurposed to accommodate other uses such as apartments and artists’ studios and workshops.
Inner yard in early 1900s
View looking at the Boiler House that supplied steam to operate the machinery in the wings on either side of the yard.
Note the turrets or stair towers used to access the building floors.
Inner yard in 1996
View after the lace factory was abandoned.
The abandoned building looking looking north along rue du Four à Chaux
Note the projecting windows built to accommodate Jacquard enhanced machines.
The school today showing the turret stairs and original two, three and four storey buildings of the lace factory
School entrance today in rue Gaillard
FACTORIES - ENGLAND
How noisy is it in a lacemaking factory?
Click the icon to hear just one machine.
Adams Factory - Nottingham
Heathcoat and Boden Factory
Heathcoat Factory Tiverton c 1900
Factory opened c1817
LACE MAKING MACHINES
A Framework Knitting Machine
Image: Stephen Black
Frameshop at Ruddington Framework Knitters' Museum showing the original and close layout of machines
Image Stephen Black
Leavers Machine 1851
Builder Richard Birkin
Leavers Machine 1851
With Jacquard at end
A Lace machine
with Jacquard apparatus
Longmire's Leavers Machine
On display in Nottingham 1905