The Belgians are known for more than waffles and chocolates. I’d never been to Belgium before and frankly, had suspected the whole Belgian waffle thing to be a convenient affectation we’d popularized in the states but nope, waffles are sold on every street corner. With whipped cream, chocolate syrup and sugared fruits, just like here. Amazing.
Belgians are known for laces and embroideries too. Did you know? I love this stuff, used to do it as a hobby. Smocking is common too. Here’s some samples. The samples below are a bias tubing, joined together with cotton thread in a variety of patterns.
I’m not so wild on the application. I love the process but throwing into a sport shirt just seems to cheapen it for me. Here’s a pink top below. I like this design better. Note the embroidered linens and tablecloth in the background. To the right of the pink top is an example of a blouse entirely constructed of joined battenberg lace. That is another long story. Are any of you familiar with this sort of hand work? This is a keen interest of mine and don’t want to go off on it if none of you know anything about it.
In truth, these embroideries aren’t “Belgian” as much as they are regional (and common to France and Luxembourg too). This sort of traditional hand work, what has come to be called “heirloom embroidery” in the U.S., is still common there. The labels say “made in Belgium” (and “made in France”) but I’m wondering how true that is… if the Belgians (and the French) play as fast and loose with their labeling laws as we do “in” the United States, it’s likely those embroidered “made in Belgium” embroideries are made in an island colony off the coast of Africa. I mean, why should we have all the fun? The prices of the goods I saw were very reasonable; not nearly as expensive as one would imagine the cost of labor of a continentally residing Belgian to exact.
Below is an example of smocking. To the right is a closeup of the detail. Products like this were very common in Brussels.
I found this awesome zipper resource I have to tell you about next but I’m tired. It’s really late here. I’ve been on the train -it seems like all day- and the wifi wasn’t working. Now I’m in Stuttgart visiting our friends Sean and Patty who are also originally from El Paso and or New Mexico. Here’s a picture of them.