Youghal and Kenmare needle laces


Youghal and Kenmare needle laces

Youghal and Kenmare are both Irish needlelaces.

Members: 42
Latest Activity: May 13

Resources: Books and Online

Pat Earnshaw YOUGHAL LACE - THE CRAFT AND THE CREAM (covers techniques and history)



Elizabeth Kurella IRISH NEEDLE LACE FOR CONNOISSEURS AND LACE MAKERS, 2014. Available from The Lace Merchant.



WEBSITES WITH INFO:  Has background info and a kit.  Has a video by Nora Finnegan, not the same one as on her website.


Competition pieces from the Kenmare Lace Festival 2015 - ;


Discussion Forum

Kenmare Lace 1 Reply

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…Continue

Started by Nora Finnegan. Last reply by Judith Connors Jun 27, 2012.

Is this Youghal? 2 Replies

I just saw some lace posted on eBay - Item number:220722897920  - listed as Youghal. What do you folks think? What features say "Youghal" to you?  Continue

Started by Carolyn Wetzel. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti. Jan 12, 2011.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on April 28, 2014 at 9:13pm

What a beautiful collar. Wow! I would Love to wear that!!! Thank you for the photo.

Youghal is one of the needle laces I have not tried - Yet!  I have the Pat Earnshaw book (I think it is - yes- The Craft and the Cream ) with the stitches and good diagrams of them, so really have no excuse -- except not enough time...!

Comment by Lynette Hale on April 28, 2014 at 3:01am

There is no publishing date on the book. It looks like it is 'self published'. I bought it about 18 months ago & I think it was newish then.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on April 28, 2014 at 2:22am

Lynette -- thanks for the info. I have the Veronica Stuart listed, but didn't know about Catherine Clancy. When was that one published?

Here is a good example of Youghal, with all the detail --

Comment by Lynette Hale on April 28, 2014 at 1:38am

I have a book on Youghal Needlepoint Lace written by Veronica Stuart & Catherine Clancy. It can be obtained by contacting:

I purchased it last year from her. It has pattern sheets in the back with beautiful patterns in it.

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on April 27, 2014 at 11:19pm

It sounds like another "Must Have" book!!!

Comment by Lorelei Halley on April 27, 2014 at 10:09pm

Elizabeth Kurella's new book Youghal, Irish Needle Lace for Connoisseurs and Lacemakers (Published by The Lace Merchant, 2014, 155 pages) has just come out. She sent me a copy and asked me to review it. The book contains many very good photographs of Kenmare and Youghal laces, with line drawings of motifs abstracted from the laces and suitable for modern lace makers to use.

She starts with a very basic description of the parts of a lace (aimed at collectors), and a description of the characteristics of Youghal and Kenmare which allow one to identify it. I am not an expert on Youghal so I cannot speak to the accuracry of her description. But one of Elizabeth's persistent strengths is that she urges lace makers and collectors to look at all the little details of a piece of lace, differences in stitches chosen, differences in thread sizes, density variations, and variations in how a design or motif is executed. In part she encourages collectors to look very closely at a piece of lace to enjoy it more by attention to the details. And in part she encourages lace makers to discover the possible, and historic, ways of varying a particular motif or element of the lace. She explains differences in how the lace industry was organized in Ireland and on the continent, and how this may account for the far greater variety in execution that is seen in Irish needle laces.

There are several sources for the examples.
1,  One source was a folio book of photographs (with expired copyright), the Plauen folio, ("Kenmare Arbeit Spitzen aus dem Museum de Konigl. Kunst-Schule fur Textil Industrie zu Plauen)..
2.  Another source is also a collection of photographs in a folio by Alan Cole, dating from around 1900.
3.  But there are 2 laces depicted which are currently in Elizabeth's own collection. One is a small scarf end, and another is a truly glorious large flounce 12 inches by 6 1/2 yards.
4.  Considerable attention is also given to a flounce in the collection of Anne Swift. But since the photos are fairly small and without as much detail I would have preferred, and since the piece was also part of the Cole folio of Irish lace, I think the photos of this piece may have been photos or scans of the folio photos. It would have been theoretically possible for the photos to have been made from the actual lace, but it is not clear whether this was done. Along with the Anne Swift piece are a few more smallish examples from the Cole collection of photographs.
5.The book ends with the entirety of Irma Osterman's book on Youghal technique (included with the permission of Irma's heirs). This is very useful, not only because the book is out of print, but because it gives the lace maker concrete ideas about how the photographs might be interpreted. (Irma explains how she learned Youghal, so the reader can judge the reliability of her explanations.)

Elizabeth searches through each piece, identifies the repeats, and isolates each group of sprigs. She then points out how the same sprig is not worked the same way each time it reappears in the lace as a whole, with photos of the same motif worked several different ways. Many of the photos are very good with considerable detail. This is especially true of her own large flounce. There is enough detail to see how the shading was achieved, to see fairly well how various parts of the motif were executed differently. With Irma's explanations at the end the lacemaker can make a very good guess on how to interpret the photos. The variety of interpretations is amazing and delightful. She has made line drawings of many of the sprigs incorporated in all of these laces, with variations in which leaves, buds and flowers are included. The whole thing becomes a gold mine of ideas for the lace maker.

I had never intended Youghal and Kenmare to be part of my needle lace journey. But Elizabeth has changed my mind about that.

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on April 29, 2012 at 10:49pm

I have yet to try Youghal lace.  I am not neat at starting and finishing threads, so have dodged the flat laces that need neatness.  A cordonette covers a multitude of sins!!!! :)

The designs for Kenmare Lace are beautiful. I have seen some in one of my books on Irish laces.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on April 22, 2012 at 6:43pm

Glad to hear about this.  Looking forward to a book review.

Comment by Carolyn Wetzel on April 21, 2012 at 7:37pm

There is a new, revised version of Veronica Stuart's book on Youghal lace posted on ebay:

The Youghal Needlepoint Lace Book is now on sale

I've ordered a copy and will report back in when I get it!

Comment by Laura Sandison on December 12, 2011 at 7:40am

I've often wondered the differences, other than locale. Thank you for sharing!



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