The HDLD is the cradle of the Cluny Polychrome de Brioude: a colored bobbin lace made of silk. It is recognized worldwide for its style and especially its tallies made with a special knack.

Odette Arpin began lacemaking in the late 1970s. She learned her first stitches from the last lacemakers of Haute-Loire who disappeared one by one, fearing the end of this magnificent heritage. She studies lace of all kinds to understand how to make them, be able to identify them and trace their history.

In 1986, she received the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Worker in France) in Cluny lace and founded the Hôtel de la Dentelle around three axes: preserving, developing and transmitting the know-how of bobbin lace.

Then began the collection of lace, other textile achievements and objects related to their manufacture or commercialization. They had been inventoried and stored to be studied and exhibited. This component was separated from the HDLD in 2004 to become the Conservatoire des Arts Textiles des Hautes Limagnes d’Auvergne et leurs Versants (Conservatory of Textile Arts of the Hautes Limagnes d'Auvergne and its surroundings).

Preserving the achievements of the past is not enough to ensure the continuity of lace as a living know-how. To do this, it is necessary to remove its outdated representation and therefore adapt it to its actual period and current fashion. Odette Arpin then created her own techniques, including the famous knack that makes the HDLD’s tally famous today and those who learned them from her and her team. The Cluny of Brioude then started to be famous among the initiates as the quality of the HDLD’s works is recognized. This touch became a signature.

We must go even further by modernizing this lace! Silk and colour bring a shimmering touch sublimated by the excellence of the realization that «Madame Arpin» demands of her team and herself. In 1996, Oscar de la Renta, Artistic Director of the Maison de Haute Couture Balmain commissioned a polychrome bustier for one of his dresses. The founder of the HDLD drew it and then made it with the lacemakers of the team who in turn became Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Worker in France). More than a thousand hours of work were needed for an international consecration. The Cluny Polychrome of Brioude was born!

The City of Brioude, aware of the potential and quality of this lace, accompanies the HDLD and grants it a building of the 15th century after its renovation. Built on commission of the Canons-Counts of Brioude for the meeting of their Chapter, it hosts the evolution of the HDLD with its exhibited creations, and its publicly visible workshop.

Odette Arpin drew hundreds of laces, many of which were made in the HDLD. She died at the end of 2019, her spirit still filled with projects, leaving to her team the care of perpetuating her work.

In the HDLD, when an artistic drawing cannot be made in lace, the technique is invented so that it becomes so. The Regional Council Know-How Award at the Aurhalpins Heritage Awards recognized this capacity of innovation in 2019. It awarded its price for the Cluny Polychrome of Brioude, illustrated by a fan designed by Odette Arpin and directed by Nathalie Bailly who invents for the occasion a color change technique in the mat.

Hôtel de la Dentelle is a recognized trademark by the Patent Office with the national number 20 4 696 009.