Carrickmacross is the oldest Irish type. Lacemaking is still done near Carrickmacross, where the industry was established about 1820. A fine organdie or muslin is applied to a tulle net with a couched thread. The fabric is then cut away from the net and the remaining net is decorated with needle-run fillings. Traditionally the rose and the shamrock are the most popular patterns.
Carrickmacross the Town
Carrickmacross is an attractive town with an spacious main street, in the south of the county. There is coarse fishing in the lakes nearby. The exquisite Carrickmacross lace, which gained the town a great reputation, is still for sale at a local convent.
This picture shows twirls and pops. The twirls are the edging stitch
and the pops the circles in the netting.
- Twirls: An Edging Stitch. The heavier thread is looped (twirled)
clockwise one time. Â The loops are small and touch each other. Two
stitches are made between loops. Â Sometimes there is a separation
between twirls as shown in the above picture.
- Pops: Decorative Circles. Pops are made with a finer thread. Â One of the holes in the netting is outline with the finer thread in a small circle then button hole stitch
is worked around the circle. The loose end worked in afterwards.
There are two modern methods for the backing:
- a piece of acetate that can be purchased from an art supply store. Some put the acetate behind the pattern which is a traditional method. I think it is better to put it in front.
- Cover the pattern with transparent contact paper.
Cotton or silk organdie should be very fine and transparent.
CREWEL NEEDLES: Small crewel needles necessary for fine hand-sewing, size 12, extremely small and fine and size 10 not quite so fine (the ones I usually use).
Pattern is copied or traced on to colored paper.
Two types of scissors are needed. Basic (Sharp) Embroidery Scissors and Special Carrickmacross Scissors.
- Art and Craft of Carrickmacross Lace by Sheila Regan, ’93, 48 pages plus appendices, very clear instructions with diagrams for step by step designs and projects
- Carrickmacross Lace : From Beginner to Expert by Mollie Butler, Alexandra Trubshaw. Hardcover, Published 1991
- Carrickmacross Lace : Irish Embroidered Net Lace : A Survey and Manual With Full Size Patterns by Nellie O’Cleirich Dufour Editions; ISBN: 0851054366
- Carrickmacross lace by Mary R. Doyle
- Carrickmacross Lace Workbook 2 (Lasadoireacht II) by Mary Shields, Wee-Hills Pub, ’95, ppr, logical development of Lacemaking skills, making a sample, filling stitches, photos, full size patterns, 34p
- Needlelace, Pat Earnshaw, Merehurst Limited, ISBN 1-85391-158-5 (One Chapter)
Harp Motif. I am currently talking lessons from Marilyn Conklin. This harp is Marilyn’s design. Photo One: Outline Thread and Twirls Completed & Basting Thread Removed.
- The Art of Lacemaking in Ireland great site with pictures and history!
- The Sheelin Antique Irish Lace Museum
- Carrickmacross the Town
- Carrickmacross Lace Gallery
- The Guild of Irish Lacemakers The Guild was formed specifically to promote and assist practicing Lacemakers, especially those making the traditional Irish Laces – hence the name of the Guild.
- Carrickmacross Supplies & Patterns from Snowgoose.
- Carrickmacross Lace Fan Patterns by Ann Margaret Keller.
- Kennedy, a Protestant from Londonderry, established the Carrickmacross lace industry.
- Project Gutenberg Etext of Penelope’s Irish Experiences by Wiggin #8 in our series by Kate Douglas Wiggin. Refers to Carrickmacross
- Yougal Lace Article by Lori Howe