Irish crochet lace was originally started as a was of imitating and producing the more expensive, but much sought after Venetian lace.
It made its way to convents in Ireland from France.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Irish potato famine hit. To help revive the economy and help families, the art of Irish crochet lace technique was taught, at no cost, to anyone willing to learn. It quickly became a cottage industry for women as a way contribute to their family income.
Individual households would make a single motif in bulk. Then sell them to a "broker" who would piece the motifs together on finely crocheted mesh or a netting.
Irish Lace has been used for collars and cuffs, wedding dresses, and tablecloths. The lace became popular after Queen Victoria was seen wearing it.
I think I'm ready to learn more and try my hand at this beautiful crochet art!