Have Your Say
20th July 2018
In All Stitched Up! #144 (HERE) we unpacked Pat’s conversation about her upcoming trip to Bruges, Belgium in the hope someone could point her in the direction of shops that specialise in all things needle and thread. It turns out that Bruges is quite the travel destination and after hearing from a number of our readers, this week we fill Pat’s travel itinerary – and maybe a suitcase or two – as we indulge her love of needle and thread!
‘The Handwerk Huisje is excellent and whilst Textile Scharlaeken is slanted towards lace, it also has some embroidery materials. The basement of Brugse Boekhandel has a treasure trove of textile books in all languages and there’s also t’Apostelientje which specialises in lace, but also has some very interesting threads which can also be used for stitching. I’ve also purchased some fabulous embroidery scissors there! t’Apostelientje is just across from the lace school, Kantcentrum, which has a nice little museum of antique lace and is part of the Jeruzalemkerk complex. The church within the complex is very interesting as it has a most unusual altar that was used in the movie ‘In Bruges’.’
Ingeborg van Oorschot
‘I just wanted to pass on some tips for Pat who is travelling to Bruges. I’m from the Netherlands but have visited the Bruges area of Belgium. I’m sad to say that needlework stores are sparse and generally offer a limited range of choices in our neck of the woods. Whilst Bruges is known for its lace, I have found a few more general craft stores in Bruges. Stikkestek which offers Cross Stitching Kits, fabrics, DMC threads and craft materials including wool for knitting and crochet.
I would also recommend a visit to Scharlaeken as they offer Cross Stitch Kits and books as well as tatting and bobbin lace materials, fabric and other needlework crafts.’
‘Furthermore, there is an excellent needlework shop in Gent – t Gaerenhuys. I have personal experience with this shop and they offer a great selection for the Cross Stitcher – I would highly recommend a visit to Gent which is an easy 25 minute train ride from Bruges. I hope this helps and I wish Pat a wonderful trip. If she has time to travel to the Netherlands, I’d be happy to recommend some Dutch stores as well!’
Olivia van Caillie & Trini Folliot
‘I would also recommend a visit to Scharlaeken which can be found in the very centre of Bruges at Smedenstraat 20. They sell flosses, yarns, Coton a Broder, kits and tools and a lot of embroiderers go there to buy their linen. I have taken many embroidery classes and I was told this is the place for linen! While there, Pat could also ask for additional addresses in the vicinity. I hope this helps.’
‘I had a short holiday in Bruges and although I didn’t find an embroidery shop, I would really recommend the Lace Museum. It is very interesting and also has quite an extensive shop of threads and lace making tools. Also, if you are visiting when they run classes, they are often happy to let you see the students’ work.’
Kantcentrum Lace Museum
After recommending many of the same places of interest listed above, Frédérique added that: ‘Bruges is above all a lace dedicated town. Scharlaeken has been trading for several generations and has many hidden treasures. Not everything is on display and therefore you must ask. They have the finest cloths and linens found nowhere else and are a major supplier for very fine threads for lacemakers and embroiderers alike. t’Apostelientje is worth a visit just for the beauty of the shop, but also sells authentic European handmade vintage lace with certificates of authenticity. August will also see the International Lace Congress being held in Bruges from the 13th to 19th 2018. Do enjoy your stay.’
Brigitte added to the conversation by suggesting: ‘Gobelin Creative which specialises in patchwork and quilting. They can be found at Langestraat 25 and if you can take your time, there are many books of all kind there and you can definitely find a pearl!’
‘I spent a week in Bruges several years ago at a time when I was most interested in Bobbin Lace, so it was the ideal place to pick up patterns, bobbins, threads and ideas. There are multiple shops in the old part of Bruges selling lace tools and they have plenty of embroidery items as well. I would suggest staying mainly in the old part of the city and you won’t be short of embroidery and lace stimulation – all within walking distance. At worst, hire a bicycle or take a horse and carriage!’
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
‘I found Scharlaeken Handwerk, which can be found at Philipstockstraat 5, a lovely shop. There is also another one almost next door, which are both about 20 metres off the main square. I purchased a number of items and found them to be excellent.’
Pat, we hope your trip affords you the time to indulge your love of needle and thread in the many places listed above. We wish you safe travels and look forward to hearing about your adventures abroad!