Hi Judith,

Nice to hear from you again.

The thread may look heavy because the photo is much enlarged to show the stitches clearly.

Although Kenmare is a generally a flat needlepoint lace, some Rose Point like the collar in the  photo and even some wonderful gros point were also made. Kenmare Lace was traditionally known, not just for its designs but also for its technical proficancy. Proof of this is the many medals won by the Kenmare lacemakers, in Paris, Chicago, Honiton and elsewhere. They can be seen in the Heritage Centre in Kenmare

The misinformation on the ability of Kenmare lace makers may be due to a much enlarged picture of a Kenmare Lace of a beginners sampler made by 15 year old Annie McCarthy erroneously presented in Pat Earnshaw's book 'Youghal lace The Craft and The Cream' as Youghal Lace. The piece is in the Heritage Centre in Kenmare today. Although not as well made as the work of her elders, I would challenge any 15 year old to produce such a competent work today. The designs presented in Ms Earnshaw's book as Youghal Lace designed in Kenmare are in fact designed for Kenmare Lace and these were part of the reason for the existence of Kenmare Lace as a separate lace. I have the original designs in my possession in Kenmare.

Because Colbert brought Needlepoint lace makers from Venetian 1665 to teach lace making in Alençon, should Alençon Lace have been known as Venetian henceforth?

Why then, should Kenmare Lace be known as Youghal lace because a teacher came from Youghal in 1869, particularly as Kenmare developed entirely new designs and some techniques probably owing more to Alençon than Youghal.

Judith, during your brief visit in May 2008, it was a pity you did not get a chance to visit the Heritage Centre down stairs. As I recall it was late in the evening and the Heritage Centre must have been closed for the day. You would have seen more Kenmare Lace and the collar in the picture there. You could have judged its merits for yourself.

If you visit again I will do my best to make sure you see it.

I am also at a loss as to where you can have seen Youghal Lace in Kenmare.


You can see why it took me so long to reply to your questions.

I do tend to go on a bit!



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