Our Mission & History

Our Mission

The South Armagh Lace Collective is based in the village of Culloville in South Armagh. We are a small group with big ideas. Our group was established in September 2018 as part of our our desire to reclaim our lacemaking legacy. Our group is unique in the sense that our current age profile ranges from 7 – 80+years and our only requirement for inclusion is an interest or love of lacemaking/or the local lace-making heritage!

The aim of the group is to promote the rich heritage and tradition of lace-making of South Armagh which extends back to the 1830s through the passing on of the skills and the sharing of our many untold lace stories. Many of our members come from long lines of lacemakers. 

The area around Culloville and Crossmaglen was known as a Centre of Excellence for lace-making for over 150 years and Culloville is referred to as the early seat of Carrickmacross Lace. It is also home to what is believed to be the first purpose lace school in Ireland.

We have a huge amount of commitment, drive and energy We have been involved in a range of activities on a voluntary basis since then such as an exhibition of lace and public lecture on history of lacemaking in the area and also involvement in a number of radio broadcasts with BBC Radio Ulster. We have offered a series of lacemaking classes to the public over Jan-Feb 2019 which was well received and our hope is to extend that further by offering one day introductory lace-making workshops in the coming months. We launched with a well received show and tell day in tandem with a Big Lunch event on 6th July 2019 to mark International Lace Day.

However of all the things that we are most proud of is a recent and ongoing collaboration with PRONI, The Nerve Centre, Derry and Museums NI. We are involved in a project called Women in the Archives which has facilitated us to develop the skills to make a short film about our rich heritage of lace-making. Our film is called ‘The Threads that Bind’ which provides an account of our own family connection to lacemaking but also our connections to each other in the group as well as our hopes for the future of lacemaking in the area. This project has been rewarding on so many levels as it has captured the imagination of our group who have readily embraced the medium of film making to tell our story. Equally, it has served to recruit younger members and inspire a love of lace and the local history of lace-making amongst them also. to the group who have developed an extraordinary amount of pride in this shared history of ours

Our History

The South Armagh Lace Collective was stitched together in September 2018

September 2018

The South Armagh Lace Collective was officially formed to promote Culloville Lace, Crossmaglen Lace, and the wider area of South Armagh in the history of Carrickmacross Lace

Jan - Feb 2019

We began offering a series of lacemaking classes to the public over Jan-Feb 2019 which was well received, and highlighted the need to provide these classes to teach the skills of Culloville Lace

March - June 2019

From March 2019 we began an ongoing collaboration with PRONI, The Nerve Centre, Derry and Museums NI. We became involved in a project called Women in the Archives which has facilitated us to develop the skills to make a short film about our rich heritage of lace-making. Our film is called 'The Threads that Bind' which provides an account of our own family connection to lacemaking but also our connections to each other in the group as well as our hopes for the future of lacemaking in the area.

July 2019

We launched the South Armagh Lace Collective with a well received show and tell day in tandem with a Big Lunch event on 6th July 2019 to mark International Lace Day. We also premiered are film, made in conjunction with PRONI - 'The Threads That Bind'

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