Clones Lace

Location: Clones

Lace-making was introduced to Clones by Cassandra Hand, the wife of a local Church of Ireland rector, to help with the purpose of providing work for the area.  It was initially based on Venetian Lace, an embroidered lace, but the method evolved into one of crocheting the fine threads onto a mesh background.  The hooks used were extremely fine.  A characteristic used is the Clones Knot which is 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 like it did in other places.  Even as late as 1940 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. However, after the 2nd World War, the decline of the linen industry saw a parallel decline in the fortunes of Clones Lace.  The skilful activity was revived in the late 1980’s and there is now an active local group of lace-makers and regular classes in the village to keep the art of lace-making alive.