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Workshop: Carrickmacross Lace for Beginners


Lúnasa Festival 2018 – Have-a-go-at Carrickmacross Lace, a beginners Workshop with the South Armagh Lace-makers Group.

Why not join the South Armagh Lace-makers Group in the picturesque countryside of South Armagh to learn more about the history and traditional skills of Carrickmacross lace-making? Carrickmacross Lace is known as the ‘King of the Irish Laces’, being the oldest of the Irish needlepoint laces. It originated in 1820 and owes its inspiration to the fine Italian lace of that era. This exquisite lace was first introduced to the women of Cullaville in South Armagh in the late 1820s / early 1830s, by the Read sisters in an attempt to alleviate rural poverty by providing women with a viable alternative to working in the fields. Such was the success of this venture that almost every house in the area had at least one lace-worker and it became an important source of rural family income. The areas around Cullaville/Crossmaglen became known as Centres of Excellence for lace-making for over a century. It is said that much of the lace that was made in this part of South Armagh is housed in the Royal Houses of Europe.

Today it is still hand worked by a small group of people who are passionate about the beauty of this fine lace created needlecraft and are also committed to safeguarding this important heritage for future generations.

Your workshop facilitators are:

Mary McMahon– first learned the art of lacemaking at her ‘mother’s knee’ and has been making lace commercially from the age of seven. She has been teaching for over 50 years and has made lace for several international couturiers.

Muriel O Gorman– has been making lace for over two decades. She mainly makes lace for pleasure however some of her pieces have been featured on the award winning designs of local milliners.

Rosie Finnegan-Bell has been making lace for several years as a hobby. She has carried out extensive research about the rich tradition of lace-making in South Armagh and has a particular interest in telling the largely untold stories of the women of the locality who were involved in this cottage industry.

This is a one-day workshop for beginner students. You can expect to learn more about the rich history and tradition of lace-making in the South Armagh area. You will also learn the essential skills of Carrickmacross lace-making under the expert tutelage of your instructors, this will enable you to complete your very own piece of lace to take home.

Cost: £20, includes materials and instructions.

Booking is essential as places are very limited.

To book click here.

For further information: Contact Rosie on +4475 8502 0706.

Event Details

Date and Time: 18 August, 2018, 10.30am – 3:30pm

Where: Cullyhanna Community Centre
Tullynavall Road
BT35 0PZ