Mountmellick Embroidery – Mountmellick Embroidery –

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Some beautiful examples of Mountmellick work from the past century are held at the Presentation Convent.

Mountmellick Embroidery

She is too modest to say so herself, but all the locals will tell you she is the authority on the embroidery and the spark behind the revival. In fact, in the era of mercerized cotton which has a chemically-induced shineit can be hard to find the proper threads for real Mountmellick work.

Inshe received an award for developing new embroidery stitches at a prominent London Exhibition, and by was running a small school in a thatched cottage in Mountmellick, teaching young girls the craft. You can attend classes in Mountmellick itself Many pieces are now viewed as family heirlooms, to passed from one generation to another.

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Look under embroidery cotton. Many directly attribute the revival of the craft in the s to the interest and enthusiasm of Sister Teresa Margaret McCarthy. In many forms of whitework, the designs are somewhat delicate, and cutwork or openwork is often involved.

There are three embroidery stitches specific to Mountmellick work: Today pieces are often framed, and may be given as a gift to celebrate a wedding or the birth of a child Rather, authentic Mountmellic fabric is a heavy cotton jean fabric not denim, really — with a nice sheen on the back of it, the side on which the embroidery is done.

Where to Find It. Mountmellick Embroidery seems to have been set up originally as a way to provide a trade for wartosc domeny online dating girls. Donations of old work are gratefully accepted, as plans are developing for a permanent exhibition space in the town The cloth is steeped overnight in cold water, then vigorously boiled to bring it up snowy white.

Sister Teresa taught many classes during the s at An Grianan, the residential college of the Irish Countrywoman's Association, at Termonfechin, County Louth, and gives them much credit for adding Mountmellick Embroidery to their syllabus.

Being white on white, it is difficult to photograph Although pieces are sometimes worked in colour, it is the traditional white on white embroidery that people were most anxious to examine up close, as photographs rarely do justice to the beautiful and intricate stitches and delicate buttonholing and fringework.

One of the features of Mountmellick work is, in fact, its serviceability.

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How was the craft 'revived'? Joanna Carter is generally credited with creating Mountmellick Embroidery. What is it that makes Mountmellick embroidery different from other types of whitework?

Is the embroidery work available for sale? Sister Teresa especially appreciates the social aspects of doing the embroidery, and hopes that it will remain a 'homely' craft. The edges in Mountmellic embroidery are generally finished with buttonhole stitch or with fringe, depending on how the stuff is to be used.

While the material has a nice sheen, the thread is actually matte.

Mountmellick Aran

Sister Teresa was named a Laois Person of the Year in for her contributions to local culture and craft. Other commonly used stitches include: Motifs include a variety of natural floral designs, usually fairly large in scale, and pieces are often finished with buttonholed and fringed edges.

The common motifs in Mountmellick Embroidery are taken from nature — flowers, berries, brambles, leaves, stems, etc. It is meant to be used, and repeated washing has given older examples of the work a particular softness and 'patina'. Mrs Hayes gave me a scrap, a little doily, and I tried to track down the material then.

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Limerick Lace, Carrickmacross Lace, and Muslin embroidery were being developed in various parts of the country. A trunk filled with old original Quaker patterns was donated to the Convent by the Pim family of Mountmellick. Where can I see examples? Since then she has taught countless students, many of whom have gone on to become teachers themselves.

The embroidery was traditionally done on tablecloths, coverlets, christening gownscushion covers, pillow shams, and laying out coverlets. The type of embroidery that flourished in Mountmellick was originally intended to help poor Irish women and girls survive the austere living of the Industrial Age in Ireland.

Cultivated plants, such as passion flowercyclamen, tiger lily, snowdrops and daffodils also appear frequently in the designs, and even butterflies, seashells, birds and bird nests Here, an old publication shows various ways of filling in leaves.

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Remember though, that the embroidery is extremely labour intensive; a tablecloth may take one hundred hours or more, for instance. First of all, Mountmellick is not done on linen. At classes today the old trunk is brought out and the original patterns copied and taken away.

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Another woman associated with its early development was Quaker Margaret Beale, an accomplished lacemaker from Enniscorthy, Co. There are actually several aspects of Mountmellick embroidery that differentiate this technique from other forms of whitework.

The early 19th century saw creative needlework developing nation-wide in Ireland: This nice contrast is a trademark of real Mountmellick work.