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Borris Lace Collection A Unique Irish Needlelace
  • Publisher: Sally Milner Publishing
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 23 April 2010
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781863514071
  • Stock: 12 in stock
  • Size: 210x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 100
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £19.99
  • Series: Milner Craft Series
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Borris Lace Collection A Unique Irish Needlelace


A Unique Irish Needlelace by Annette Meldrum (Author)

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Book Description

When Marie and Annette visited Borris House in 2006, the lace in the Borris Lace Collection was uncatalogued, unpublished, and almost completely unknown in Ireland. Mrs Tina Kavanagh, the current custodian, was unsure of how best to proceed. Remaining family members knew only a litte of the provenance. Knowledge of the old techniques and true characteristics of the lace had been lost. They were concerned that unless the history and techniques were researched and recorded without delay, the technique of Borris lace and the provenance that was currently known could be lost forever. Marie and Annette suggested that the best way of conserving the lace was to catalogue it, provide archival storage and write up the significance as well as the history, so that future family custodians will be well informed of its social, cultural and historical significance to Borris and Ireland, its heritage value to the Kavanagh family and, lastly, as an inspiration to lacemakers who may over time be privileged to visit Borris and view the collection for themselves. It was not until they returned to Australia and Marie commenced to rework the patterns and repair the bedspread on loan to them, that she discovered some unique techniques. Marie and Annette hope that their efforts will ensure the long-term survival and appreciation of this remarkable lace.

About the Author

About Annette Meldrum

Annette Meldrum is a keen embroiderer and lacemaker who has participated in Guild exhibitions and shows around Australia. She is a keen researcher and collector of old lace, has studied lace techniques in Australia, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and has a collection of lace and embroidery from around the world dating back to the sixteenth century. Annette is an experienced teacher who has taught embroidery and needle lace for the Lace Guild, Embroiderers' Guild and various Needlework Shops. She is currently employed as Informatics Faculty Librarian at the University of Wollongong Library.


The Lace Guild

Dec 10

When I received [this book] I was a little bemused as I had not previously heard of 'Borris Lace'. The book is divided into three sections and I found it very easy to read, particularly the first section on the history of the lace from the time of its introduction to the Borris community by Lady Harriet Kavanagh following the Great Potato Famine in the middle of the 19th century, to its demise in the 1960s. The second section is an inventory of lace in the collection and includes a description of the stitches used, designs and motifs, and compares the lace with some traditional laces. This section also contains some very clear photographs of examples of Borris Lace and traditional lace included in the collection. The third section contains sixteen projects which I found very interesting. The instructions given with each project are full and comprehensive, and creating this lace should not present a problem to lacemakers of whatever ability. I have also got some ideas on what I can do with some tape lace that I have.


Aug 10

A comprehensive reference for this rare and unique form of Irish needlelace. Together the two authors have saved this lace-making technique from being lost in both preserving the examples they found in Ireland to unravelling the method of working it. The book is a remarkable collection of written and photographic research and even contains sixteen projects, many inspired by pieces fromthe collection, for you to try at home. There are full instructions, a stitch glossary and an array of clear colour photography. It is an invaluable addition to any needlework enthusiast's library and makes fascinating reading.


July 10

There are many types of lace, but surely one of the more obscure varieties has to be Borris lace, which is barely known in Ireland let alone outside it. This is the story of two women who went to Borris House in County Carlow and ended up cataloguing the collection of this little known but beautiful type of lace. The history of Borris lace is very much a part of Ireland's social history during the 19th century. It is inextricably woven with the tragic Irish Potato Famine, and started out as a way for poor women to earn money for their families. All this makes for fascinating reading, and makes up the first part of this unusual book. Also shown are many photographs of the lace itself, and information about the people who made it and the sort of items it formed a part of. As the best way of keeping a folk tradition alive is to actually do it yourself I was thrilled to see that there are also plenty of projects in here for those who want to try their hand at making Borris lace themselves. This is not the type of lace made with a pillow and bobbins, but needlelace such as forms a part of stumpwork and other needlecrafts. There are some smallish line drawings which show how to do it rather well although those fairly experienced at needlework (not necessarily needlelace making) will find the instructions and diagrams easier to follow than total beginners, to which I would not recommend this book. The items are lovely, however and anybody wanting to make them up who lives in Australia, Ireland, UK or US will find lists of a few suppliers at the back. I'm always on the lookout for something different, and this particularly impressed me.

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