Friends of Lace Limerick is a volunteer group formed in Limerick in 2017. The group formed initially with the goal to support the conservation of the lace artefacts in the collection of the Limerick Museum. As the museum does not have the space to exhibit its entire lace collection, a lot of artefacts were stored in less-than-ideal conditions. Friends of Lace received training from Rachel Phelan, textile conservation specialist, and then proceeded to catalogue and repackage the lace items for proper storage. The whole process was documented through this website.
Throughout the years, the group has organised two Amazing Lace symposia (November 2018 and October 2019), an open day event titled “Bring Out Your Lace” in 2018, with the purpose of helping identification, repair and conservation of lace pieces in private collections, as well as lectures and lacemaker meetings.
We participated with our own events in Heritage Week (that had to be held online during the pandemic) and the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival (almost) every year since 2017.
We created an information leaflet on Limerick Lace for the Limerick Museum and we designed and produced more than 200 lace kits for Limerick Lace beginners, that were offered for sale by the Limerick Museum.
In 2019, Limerick lace was added to the National Inventory of Intangible Heritage due to the efforts of Dr. Matthew Potter, Curator, Limerick Museum, and Dr. Susan Frawley of Pennywell Lace and Friends of Lace.
In February 2023, the group came together to take the first steps towards formalising our association. The group approved its Constitution and elected a committee that will manage the activities.
The main aims of the group are: to celebrate Limerick’s history of lace making going back to 1829, supporting the development of lace-making skills in the Limerick area and beyond, engaging with the local community (community groups, schools, third level institutions etc.) to promote the tradition of Limerick Lace, promoting artist-led initiatives that celebrate Limerick Lace across multiple art-forms, fostering and encouraging communication between people interested in traditional and contemporary lace making, forming links with other lace-making groups, guilds, networks and communities at home and abroad, and contributing positively to Limerick’s cultural landscape, highlighting the city as a lace making place in the past and in the present, and as a tourism destination.
The Friends of Lace Limerick group can be reached at: limericklace.ie @ gmail.com
Friends of Lace are maintaining this website since its inception and are managing the social media channels.