History of Carrickmacross Lace

Carrickmacross Handmade Lace has a long and rich tradition, having originated in the early 1820’s. Its style was inspired by some examples of Italian lace of that era. At that time it became an important source of rural family income – in common with lace production everywhere. It was “made by the poor for the rich and famous”. Today it is still hand worked by a small group of people who are passionate about the beauty of fine, meticulously created needlecraft.
Carrickmacross Lace uses a technique of needlework called ‘applique’, the lace being worked by applying fine organdie to a delicate net ground. When this process is complete the excess organdie is cut away revealing the design. A further effect, called ‘guipure’, also a feature of this lace, is achieved by linking areas of the pattern thus creating a very intricate design of open work. Colourful terms are used to identify the extensive range of stitches which enrich and embellish the pattern – bars, pops, cobweb etc. Filling stitches may vary from those shown.
irish lace makers have always looked for appropriate ways in which to adapt their art to contemporary tastes, and so Carrickmacross Lace is constantly evolving, while ensuing that its past heritage informs and inspires the present and guarantees its future authenticity. An extensive range of both traditional and contemporary designs, cleverly adapted to the materials and executed with the highest level of expertise is available in the Lace Gallery. Special commissions can be fulfilled on request.