A the beginning of the 1800s, in the town of Lunéville in Lorraine, a type of embroidery was developed with the aim of recreating certain types of sophisticated laces, such as those of Bruges or Venice. By creating a technique combining needlework and crochet Lunéville embroidery was born.
It very quickly became a major activity in the region with embroiderers in almost every household doing it, before a decline was seen at the end of the 19th century due to the introduction of a very similar beading technique which allowed for a remarkable diversity of effects and which found great success at the beginning of the 20th century. Over the centuries Lunéville embroidery has decorated the most sophisticated pieces, from bags to beaded dresses in the inter war years to the haute couture of today, from the Christian Dior collection to the embroidered dresses of Elie Saab or Dominique Sirop.
A rich part of the local and national heritage, the history and current developments of Lunéville embroidery are documented at the Conservatoire de Broderies de Lunéville established in 1998 in the wonderful castle of Lunéville. Along with the teaching centre which helps to continue this precious tradition, one can also admire the famous embroideries and the annual exhibitions dedicated to often ignored trades, the last of which celebrated pleats in haute couture and the talents of florists and feather workers.