Lace making in the 18th century in Ireland appears to have been very much a local affair. The Dublin Society (now called the Royal Dublin Society) was formed in 1731 to promote agriculture and industry in Ireland with lace making as one of the industries being encouraged. However, it was in the 19th century that lace making, as an industrial art, became a noteworthy trade. With the exception of Limerick Lace, which was a private commercial venture started in 1829, most of the well known Irish laces were developed with a view to alleviating poverty after the devastation of the Great Famines of 1845 to 1847. Lace items produced varied from simple lace handkerchiefs to elaborate wedding dresses in Irish lace and wedding veils for the Royal families of Europe.
Carrickmacross Lace is one of the most famous of the laces of Ireland. It has been the Irish lace of choice for top designers for wedding dresses and wedding veils. It originated from an adaptation of applique needlework brought back from Italy by Mrs Porter, the wife of Reverend John Grey Porter, Rector of Donaghmoyne, Co. Monaghan in 1820. While it predates the Great Famines of 1845 to 1847 by twenty five years, even then it’s development as a lace was promoted to alleviate the poverty in the area. [Read more…]