“Irish crochet” is a type of lace that has its origin in the famine years of the 19th century in Ireland. Charity groups sought to revive the economy by teaching crochet lace technique at no charge to anyone willing to learn. This type of lace is characterized by separately crocheted motifs, which were later assembled into a mesh background. Other types of Irish crochet include Rosslea and Clones lace.
Irish Crochet Lace is made with a very fine steel crochet hook and fine crochet cotton or linen thread. It begins with an outline of the pattern on a piece of cloth. Each motif is then crocheted separately, using cotton cord for volume and shaping. The finished motifs are then basted onto a cloth in the shape of the pattern. The motifs are then joined using chains and picots. When all the motifs have been joined together forming one piece of lace the basting stitch is removed from the back cloth revealing the completed lace.
Irish Crochet Lace, particularly Clones Lace, is experiencing a revival as modern designs are being created by Irish lace makers as well as others, such as Eastern European, Australian, Asian and North American designers.