Kenmare Lace

Kenmare Lace and Design Centre Opening Hours: 10:30 am to 1:00 pm (Mon – Fri)


Rose and Shamrock Irish Crochet Lace dress by Zejnep.
This handmade Irish Crochet Lace dress is a beautiful example of a wonderful traditional Irish craft. The rose and shamrock motif has been extensively used in Irish Crochet Lace and is very much part of our history. In famine times women in many parts of Ireland earned their living and supported their families by use of the tiny crochet hook. It was sold in France, Uk , USA. and elsewhere. Many young girls worked at lacemaking until the age of 18 or 20 years old. At that point they would have saved enough money to pay for their passage to the ‘New World’ (USA). Many of their decendants visit us at The Kenmare Lace and design Centre where they recognise the little crochet hook and remark that it was a treasured possession left behind by their Irish grandmother.
Irish crochet lace has been made in Kenmare since the 1800’s when the Poor Clare nuns started the lacemaking industry in the town. The tradition is still carried on here today, despite all the distractions of modern living, indeed YouTube has given it a new lease of live as it can now by learned entirely online. White crochet cotton was traditionally used to make the lovely Irish lace, in recent times colour has also been widely used.  One of the advantages of crochet is its versatility. It can be made from the finest cotton or linen to the most robust of wools, giving a completely different appearance each time and resulting in endless design opportunities.
Scroll to Top