Visit the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles, Berkeley

Visit the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles, Berkeley

One of my earliest blog posts was about the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale. A small storefront in a stripmall with amazing examples of lace and rotating exhibits.

A table with leaflets about upcoming classes at the Lacis MuseumI was expecting a similar small space for the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles in Berkeley. It turns out the Berkeley museum is exponentially larger! They have a store that sells lace, and equipment for embroidery and lace making. If you’d like you can take one of their classes, on embroidery, tatting, or bobbing in their upstairs classroom. To receive an overview of the museum we enjoyed the two tours they offer. 

Mannequins wearing pajamas at the day's end exhibit Our first tour was Day’s End: Personal Glamour Exposed, a fascinating look into the history of night time fashion. From the rather starchy looking undergarments of the 1860s to the silky, lacy nightgowns of the 1920s, a collection of nightcaps and bonnets, and the pajamas of the 1930s. They made a YouTube video of the exponents, but of course it is more stunning to see them in person.

A collection of handkerchiefs from the Transcending Fashion exhibitThe second exhibit is a lesson in lace history: Transcending Fashion: The Lace Accessory. First you learn about the secret language of handkerchiefs, while you bend over a looking glass to see the snowflake like miniature patterns. The history of the communal work of Irish lace and other different techniques to create these intricate patterns are truly amazing

Lace seen through the looking glassEach tour is $3.00 per person, Monday through Saturday, at either 1:00 or 3:00 pm. Tours are by appointment and can be scheduled by calling the Lacis Museum at (510) 843-7290 during regular business hours.

The Lacis Museum is located at 2982 Adeline Street, Berkeley. Hours are Monday to Saturday from noon  to  6pm.


The Lace Museum

Lace it up

When I saw that there is a Lace Museum  in Sunnyvale, I put that on my list on things to explore.


I hesitated to go in at first because it said on the front door to call (408-730-4695) if you like a tour. But, since I was there I might as well check it out, right?

(It turns out I misread it, you only need to call if you are six or more, they will give you a tour if you are a smaller group, or even by yourself.)

I got greeted with the words: “Welcome to the Lace Museum. Would you like a tour?” Perfect!


I have to say, I learned so much! Thank you. I still have a hard time picturing how people make these delicate laces by hand. They do classes and I will definitely check out their Christmas fundraiser, where they sell ornaments made with old lace.


A laced vest that uses hair and silkThey have one exhibit piece that uses hair and silk as the lace material. And on another piece there are  scarab beetles incorporated into it. I had no idea they are so shiny!


Currently they have an exhibit about wedding dresses. But, these special exhibits change.

This museum is an all volunteer base, so please come by, get the inside scoop on lace and donate, because they do a mighty great job.

Have you done lacing before?