Tønderlaces have been a great industry in the area around Tønder all the way back tothe 17th century. Purchases of laces from Tønder are mentioned inthe diaries of the Danish king, Christian the 4th. The king himselfwas a large-scale consumer of laces and carried out several initiatives toadvance the production of laces. At first, laces were only for royal and noblepeople to wear but later, laces also became available for the citizens to wearand in the end it became standard to use laces on national costumes. Today youcan still find laces on folk dance costumes.
The laceindustry, where woman of all ages were producing laces at home, went steep downhillwhen the industrialization broke through. Toward 1900 very few people produced Tønderlaces for purchase and those who did could hardly make a living of it.Nowadays, Tønder laces are still produced but only as a hobby.
The laces from Tønder, which are inspired, among others, by Little-laces, are characterized by a head of tulle with motives like flowers, leaves or ornaments in layers of canvas encircled by a thickercontour thread. In the actual pattern other heads like roses occur. Most of the women who produced the Tønder laces learned the art of making laces in theirchildhood and they made the same laces year after year. The laces were oftennamed after the girl who made it e.g. Ellen, Lisette, Ditte, etc. Place names were also used such as Hjerpsted and Tønders Beauty and not least names of flowers like The Carnation, The Rose, The Passionflower and others.