Hot! Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles | Sightseeing

Lacis-feature

My sewing and love for vintage/antique everything takes me to a lot of really amazing places in the San Francisco Bay Area. The East Bay in, particular, is a beacon for those who share these interests. Today we visit Lacis Museum of Lace and Textile in Berkeley.

My first encounter with Lacis happened as I was driving home from Stone Mountain & Daughter. As I sat at a stoplight, I glanced over and saw the storefront. My first reaction was "what is a museum of lace and textile?" My second reaction was "I'm so going there."

I so went there and was amazed with what I saw. Lacis was founded in 1965 by Kaethe Kliot as a "a haven for the textile community and all involved in virtually every aspect of the textile arts." What Lacis has evolved into is a museum, a store, a reference center, a classroom and really an inspiration to anyone who is interested in textile arts. 

(If you don't live in the Bay Area, you can shop at Lacis online.)

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There are four main rooms at Lacis. This room is part museum, part store. Most of the items in this space happen to be vintage or antique — particularly laces and linens. 

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On display in this room are pieces of lace that date back hundreds of years. The tags are prices for reference (they are not for sale).

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Lacis offers workshops and classes, as well. If you're in the Bay area, here is a list of upcoming classes they are offering.

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Bobbins for lace making.

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A small section of their extensive library of books for browsing or buying. Additionally, they sell a large selection of historical and independent patterns.

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So much thread and floss!

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Some lace collars and doilies available for sale.

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In addition to needle crafts and lace, the store sells hat-making supplies, particularly hats from the past. 

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Here, shop manager, Erin Algeo  is restoring a family wedding veil from the 1950s that has been worn by 16 brides. Lacis offer wedding services including custom pieces from their extensive collection of new and vintage lace. 

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Lacis also sells vintage clothing, including a number of children's pieces.

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Some embroidered pieces on display. The Museum's last exhibit was a history of embroidery. Unfortunately, it had closed when I visited the museum.

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I absolutely loved the fans on display!

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More antique collars on display and for sale.

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The bead work on this panel was breathtaking!

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On exhibit, some antique notions and a bit of history about embroidery.

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That's how lace is made by hand!

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A glimpse into the bridal section at Lacis.

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Selections of lace and fabric in their bridal shop.

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More antique fans.
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Author

Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.

13 Comments

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  1. Mmmm…. lace! I definitely have to visit this shop someday! I’ve often heard of it but never actually seen photos of it. Thanks for the lovely pictures!

  2. OMG! I recently watched a piece on hand lace making. It’s INSANE! The ladies throw those little bobbins all over the place, without getting them tangled, all the while making gorgeous lace! It’s AMAZING!
    Great find!

  3. Oh my! I think that might be what heaven looks like. I so want to go there!
    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha’penny Vintage

  4. I imagine this is what heaven is like.

  5. Wow – that picture of the green lace being made is amazing! I’ve always thought that lace seems like it would be complicated to make, but I never imagined THAT level of complexity!

  6. Oh HOW LOVELY! what a great find!!

  7. Wow, its like living in a magical world. So vintagey and whimsical. thanks for sharing, beautiful photos!

  8. Wow wow wow wow, what an amazing place! I am so jealous, I really do wish there was somewhere even remotely like that near me!!! Thanks for taking us on a virtual tour, the photos were gorgeous!

  9. margueritedesigns

    What a marvellous place! I’ve only ever been to San Francisco once many years ago and didn’t see anywhere like this, but should I return, this will surely be one of the first places I go to.

  10. Good grief… I think I would just die stepping foot into a place like that! :D Not only to be able to see some gorgeous laces and textiles on display, but also the selection to buy… Gah. I’d also need to win the lottery because I’d probably spend a small fortune! How neat… and seeing all this lace has me inspired for that little project we discussed. ;)
    ♥ Casey

  11. WOW!! That is going on my “places to visit” next time I’m in S.F. – which hopefully will be sooner than later. That is a “little heaven on earth”.

  12. This is an amazing place, I have seen lots of lovely and traditional lace as Honiton in Devon (uk) is famous for it. Although there certainly isn’t anywhere like this.

  13. Oh man, I love this place so much. I remember the first time I went there on the way back from the old Berkeley Bowl to the city and did the exact same thing. Just looked randomly over.
    And hoo boy, is it amazing! They made my wedding veil! I love ‘em!