Carrickmacross lace was originally inspired by some Italian appliqué lace which Mrs Grey Porter, wife of the Rector of Donaghmoyne, a small village northeast of Carrickmacross in County Monaghan, brought back from her continental honeymoon in 1816. Her interest in this lace led to an exploration of the craft with her sewing maid, and by the following decade she had evolved an individual style and established a cottage industry in her home parish, training young women as lace makers. These in turn spread the craft to other areas in the northern counties of Ireland. In the 1840s a school of lace makers was established to create gainful work for women after the Great Famine, but overproduction and economic depression led to a decline in the lace industry. The survival of Carrickmacross lace into the twentieth century is due to the nuns of the St Louis order who established a convent in the town and set up a lace-making class in 1897, which still continues the tradition. Paperback.
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