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athgarvan

LACE-MAKING

My aunt was a Poor Clare nun. I was recently reading up on their convent in Kenmare in Co. Kerry. The nuns arrived there in the early 1860s to provide education for the poor children of people just emerging from Famine. Besides feeding the children’s minds with knowledge they also tried to teach them something that might bring them an income. The nuns taught the girls the rudiments of lace-making.

Those skills are still alive and well in Kenmare and, with nearby Killarney scenery, serve the local tourist effort. In 1861 Queen Victoria and her entourage visited the area. They admired the scenery so much that one scene has since been called Ladies View (see below). Later, Queen Victoria purchased pieces of Kenmare lace and her support of their efforts influenced fashion trends in the Victorian Era 1837-1897. Handmade lace adorned wedding veils, lingerie, and altar-wear. Even men wore it as an indication of social position. Kate Middleton also sported Kenmare lace on her wedding day!


        

Comments

How lovely - both the view and the lacework.

- Eulisse (one L)
Victoria and Kate, quite different women. I somehow don't see the Queen being quite amused at being referred to as "Vicki".