Modern Irish Crochet vs. Traditional Irish Crochet

June 1, 2016



Modern Irish crochet changed the way we look at traditional Irish crochet lace. Traditional Irish crochet lace was always made in white, ecru, and cream colors. If you study museum works and antique literature about Irish crochet lace, you will notice that motifs were crocheted over additional thread. This thread was thicker than the thread that was used to crochet motifs. This additional thread is called Padding cord, packing cord, or foundation cord. Adding this cord in Irish crochet lace creates 3-D effect and additional texture.  Also in Traditional Irish crochet different background netting was used: netting with picots, netting with Clones knot stitches, netting with shamrocks, horse shoe elements, double netting, and more.  Another unique element in traditional lace is decorative edges - scallops - something that gives the lace a finished look. There is one more very important quality of Traditional Irish crochet lace-- thin thread. Lace made with this thread was air like. Traditional Irish crochet lace was made differently. First motifs were crocheted, then all the motifs were fastened to the canvas (fabric), and only then were all the motifs connected with background netting.


Fashion changes with time, and new ideas, techniques, and quality requirements change the way we dress, make clothes, and think of lace outfits. 


The most noticeable quality of Modern Irish crochet lace is the variety of colors that is used. Artisans use stitches that are very common in free form crochet: puff stitches, popcorn stitches, bullion block stitch, and crab stitch to decorate the edges. Packing cord is used rarely. Some elements of Romanian Point lace and Bruges lace are added to Modern Irish crochet lace. And the background netting has a different technological process. Instead of using canvas for crocheting the netting, padding board and a lot of pins are used to secure the motifs and working thread on the fabric. It looks similar as the bobbin lace process. Some artisans incorporate Tunisian crochet and beads in their lace fabric as well.

It doesn't matter how different or similar both techniques are,-- both have great value and require a lot of talent, skill, and time to make.

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