By 1910 Clones was the most important
centre of crochet lacemaking in Ireland,
and it's lace was worn by royalty and gentry throughout the world
The Irish crochet collar allows you to see the Venetian Style it was based on.
Irish Crochet -
This style of lace making is very distinctively Irish, with patterns, usually of flowers and leaves, built up in layers resulting in a three dimensional effect. Entire items of clothing, such as christening robes and wedding dresses were made in this way.
The origins of this style of lace is unclear but it was probably brought to Ireland by nuns who had learned similar techniques in France. Quite often the pieces were made by more than one person, with someone expert in, say, creating roses doing just that and another creating leaves and so on. Finally someone would take all the pieces and join them together into the final completed piece.
Lace making was introduced to Clones by Cassandra Hand, the wife of a local Church of Ireland rector, again with the purpose of providing work locally. It was initially based on Venetian lace, an embroidered lace, but the method evolved into one of crocheting the very fine threads onto a mesh background. The hooks used were extremely fine - about the size of a small sewing needle. A characteristic is the use of the 'Clones Knot, created by turning the hook several times around the thread.
The lace making tradition did not die out in Clones at the start of the 20th century as it did in other places, as late as 1940 local lace makers contributed to the dress worn by Queen Mary during her coronation and Clones lace was used by many linen makers in Northern Ireland to decorate their products.
The Story of Clones Lace
Clones Lace- Ireland
Irish Crochet books