Mountmellick Lace

The minute intricacy and patience that goes into the craft of Mountmellick Lace (otherwise known as Mountmellick Work) is an art which few people can say they have mastered. Mountmellick Lace has been displayed in almost every part of the world with a number of prominent and famous people having an item among their most treasured possessions. A toilet cover, worked by members of the Industrial Association at Mountmellick, was presented to H.R.H. the Princess of Wales on the occasion of her visit to Ireland in 1885. Mountmellick Lace is a unique form of Irish 'white on white' needlework using white cotton on white satin jean.

The lace itself was used to decorate household items, such as dressing table mats, sachets, comb and brush bags and nightdresses. It is believed that the flora and fauna on the banks of the Owenass River in the Mountmellick area acted as a great inspiration to the designs of the developer and creator of the craft, an embroidery craft unique to the town of Mountmellick. Joanna Carter developed the craft in 1825. Her original embroidery designs have since been handed down from generation to generation, keeping alive a beautiful, yet simplistic, craft, which symbolises Mountmellick's rich Quaker history. Below is a list of some of the distinguishing features of Mountmellick Lace:

  • White on white (carried out on a white satin jean with stitchery in white knitting cotton).
  • Generally eyelids or open work are excluded.
  • Natural floral designs which are large in scale.
  • Button-holed and fringed edges.


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