Today I will introduce you to another great passion of our atelier, the Irish lace! This magnificent art, also known by some as English lace, is a variety of needle lace and its history and process of creation are very similar to those of the Renaissance lace. The Irish lace, however, has peculiarities that distinguish it and that catch our attention.
The tradition of the Irish lace, like other artisan traditions, was brought to Brazil in the colonial period and spread throughout the interior of the territory as the work of women who provided hand-made lace for the aristocracy and for the Brazilian high society. In many regions the tradition of Irish lace has been lost over time, but at some centers where lace has continued to be an important source of resources for families, talented and determined women have managed to keep the tradition alive! And thanks to them, today we have the opportunity to make beautiful dresses and other very rich pieces with the use of Irish lace!
The techniques for creating the Irish lace in much resemble that of the Renaissance lace . First of all, the pattern of the lace is drawn with a marker pen in tracing paper and, then, a cotton ribbon, called "lacé", is stitched onto this design. The basted lacé and tracing paper are folded over a more resistant paper, attached to a small cylindrical shaped cushion. Finally, with a cotton thread and a simple hand needle, the artisan begins to sew small knots, connecting the traces of lacé with several types of stitches: popcorn, spider, net, chain, pineapple, coconut.
The main difference between the renaissance and the Irish lace is in the cotton ribbon. Irish lace is made with a thicker sort of ribbon, like a "soutache", wrapped in a bright thread, which gives volume and shine to the piece. The use of the Irish lace also requires some special attention in the process of making a garments. The result is incredible and even the simplest garment turns out to be extremely luxurious with Irish lace! Our "Rosary" dress is an example of how a modest design for a wedding dress is transformed into jewelry by the use of Irish lace, which was also adorned with pearls in the same tone as the lacé and complemented by the pure silk skirt.
Want to know what your Irish lace dress would look like?! Send me a message to schedule our conversation!