Plauen Lace is a textile product which is world-renowned for more than 120 years. The economic and cultural development of the Vogtland region and its capital the City of Plauen was eminently shaped by it. Plauen Lace and embroidery are a result of an ancestral tradition in the manufacturing of textiles in and around Plauen.
The City of Plauen was a center of clothmaking and cotton weaving during the 15th and 16th century. The search for new opportunities during the progressive decline of this trade resulted in embroidery. At the dawn of the 19th century, the flat stitch hand embroidery was introduced, which lead to tulle embroidery in 1880 which then was the basis for the later "Plauener Spitze" (Plauen Lace) brand. In 1883 the first embroidery machines with pantograph shuttles were erected. The chemical lace started to conquer the world with the name "Plauener Spitze" (Plauen Lace). It is a lace where the stitching area is stitched with embroidery threads that form a continuous motif. Afterwards, the stitching areas are removed and only the embroidery remains. The stitching base is made of a chemically soluble material. At the World Exhibition in Paris the Plauen Lace was honored with the Grand Prix on August 18th 1900.
The automatic manufacturing of tulle lace and chemical lace caused a rapid economical growth for the City of Plauen. The prime time for Plauen Lace was reached in 1912, where 16.000 emboidery machines were operating and Plauen had 128.014 inhabitants. The city took on a metropolitan flair. Many houses with their ornate facades still bear witness to the former significance of Plauen. After 1912 an enduring crisis initiated a long term decline of the Vogtlandian lace and embroidery industry. Then in 1928 Plauen had the highest unemployment rate of all German metropolitan areas in 1923. By 1928 a slow recovery became noticeable, but the destruction caused during the Second World War destroyed most machines and sample collections. It wasn't until 1950, when the lace and embroidery industry started to bloom again.
There are currently 60 companies active in this field of business. Plauen Lace is in demand again on domestic and international markets. The range covers home textiles like drapes and fancy table clothes as well as women's fashion and lingerie