For those who know me, you will agree I'm a bit obsessed with fabric .... of any kind! And so it is that I've recently become fascinated with lace. So much so, that I'm actually learning to make it! A very intricate and fascinating journey and more on that on another day.
Recently, I called into visit a friend and she showed me a wedding photo of her mother-in-law, recently shifted to New Zealand from London, knowing that I would love to see it. Yes, I loved the photo but I was particularly fixated on the veil. This veil! We're used to seeing this stunning type of veil on a royal bride. But, for many of us, we'll actually find that some of our family had treasures like this, passed down through the generations.
It turned out that my friend now has the veil as well as the photo and she has kindly lent it to me to take to my lacemaking group to check, with the experts, on the type of lace. There is agreement that it is Irish in the Carrickmacross style, first introduced to Ireland in about 1820. In this lace, fine muslin is laid over "net", the design outlined and filling stitches also used to create the gorgeous style.
We have family photos of my own grandmother, the youngest of a large family. Unfortunately we don't have her stunning veil: it may have been on loan or belonged to one of her many elder sisters. I'd have loved to have had it and worn it.
So, now my friend is going to talk to Elisabeth about the history of her family veil. We think such a stunning piece of family heritage deserves a recorded history. My experts have also told me how to clean it (very carefully and using very specific techniques!) and store it. It deserves to be kept as a treasure. Thank you Ellie and Elisabeth for entrusting it to me for a wee while. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story of this treasure.