Caudry is a small town in northern France, 63 km. from Lille and 160 km. from Paris, close to the Belgian border and to the battlefields of the First World War. From the early nineteenth century entrepreneurs in the town specialised in the manufacture of lace, and particularly of tulle, a fine silk bobbin net used as the outer layer of women’s dresses (particularly wedding dresses), and in veils and hats, which takes its name from the city of Tulle in Limousin. The first loom was set up in 1826, using British components smuggled across the English Channel. By 1914 some 650 looms were working in the town. Caudry is now, apart from Calais, the only town in France where lace is manufactured.
The museum is located in the lace factory built in 1898 for Théophile and Jean-Baptiste Carpentier in 1898. It is a high single-storey building, in locally-made brick, with large windows to facilitate the intricate tasks that were carried out there. Visitors can see demonstrations of the machinery used to produce tulle and lace and can inspect large collections of samples of the town’s products, dresses, embroidery and film costumes.