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St. Angela’s TRACtion Team Costume Research

The Irish TRACtion research team visited the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin and the Sheelin Collection, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, in recent times.

Quite a few Irish designers in the 1950s and 1960s used Carrickmacross lace and crochet in their designs. Carrickmacross lace was a favourite of both Sybil Connolly and Irene Gilbert. Irene Gilbert’s (couturier, c.1967/68) and Ib Jorgensen’s (c. 1970) costumes with Carrickmacross lace were viewed at the National Museum in Dublin. They included tubular cocktail dresses with necklines and sleeves made from Carrickmacross lace (Gilbert) and a full evening dress with a bold design of the Bird of Paradise with floral motifs (Jorgensen). 

In Enniskillen, we studied unique lace items such as a Mountmellick embroidered child’s cape and other whitework embroidery samples. Mountmellick embroidery was more commonly used on household objects such as pillow shams, nightdress cases, dressing table mats, brush bags, etc.