new york, ny, u.s.a.
Kaluber Brothers Inc. was founded in 1859 in Munich Germany by Rosa Klauber. The first laces sold by Klauber were hand made and the firm steadily grew until it became a leading producer of fine machine made Leavers Laces as well as a manufacturer of lingerie. The company was confiscated by The Nazis and had to be rebuilt completely in America. The U.S. firm is still family owned and the 5th and 6th generations of Klaubers are currently active. The experiences, challenges, archives and values of the past are still very much part of their success.
They are one of the only mills in the world, still in existence that produces genuine Leavers Lace. Their factory in New England is staffed by weavers or as they are more accurately called, Twist hands. This refers to the unique manner in which the Leavers patterns are formed. Extremely fine threads are wound around brass bobbins that are then inserted into thousands of steel carriages which swing back and forth and twist around the threads coming off beams. The patterning mechanism is a Jacquard card system which employs numerous punched holes that allow a varying number of metal droppers to fall through the holes. This is a form of computer that was invented in the early 1800s and still produces the most beautiful laces today. Leavers laces have a handmade and dimensional quality that make them unique.
There are thousands of cards needed to form a typical lace as well as approximately 18,000 total threads. The Leavers machine has the capacity to run patterns ranging from heavy crochet Cluny looks to the lightest Chantillies. The looms themselves are massive, tipping the scales at 34,000 pounds. They are close to 10 feet tall and occupy floor space of 500 square feet, not including the required, and considerable, auxiliary equipment.
The crew that operates and maintains these machines are highly skilled and most come from families that have learned the art of lace making over generations. These laces are produced and finished entirely in The U.S.A.