A needle lace from Youghal in County Cork, Ireland that was made from about 1845 to 1920, with very fine thread – finer than hair.

Needle lace is always made the same way, however  each style of lace,  from a particular area or era has it’s own distinctive patterning, stitch a arrangement or finishing.

The pattern  is either drawn or penned or inked onto a plain cloth, which is then fixed to several more layers of plain cloth for stability. A foundation cord laid around the edge of the design is then couched to hold it in place.

The lace pattern created within the couched boundary uses particular selection of  the traditional lace making stitches  that have been in uses at least since the Italian and French lace making periods between the 15 and 16C.


venetian edging or tiny knotted border are added, either at the end or with each section as the work progresses.

Once the lacework is completed, the pattern, with the lace attached, is removed from the backing cloths, and the lace is detached from the pattern by removing the first row of cording and couching.




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