The area around Clones has a strong tradition of lace-making, a generally home-based industry which, at its peak in the 1850s, saw more than 1500 workers supplying markets as far afield as Paris, Rome and New York. Passed on from mother to daughter, the lace-making craft was introduced to Clones by the wife of the local Church of Ireland rector, Cassandra Hands, as a means of supplying income in the desperate post-Famine times. Rather than following the time-consuming Venetian needlework style, Clones women opted for a crochet hook as a means of expediency, and began producing work embellished by the flora of their local environs, often characterized by the multi-twirled Clones knot. Clones lace was embroidered into blouses and dresses, but its own elaborate style was gradually replaced by simpler designs. Nevertheless, it remains an important local tradition and, in 1989, a co-operative was established to reinvigorate the craft. There are still several lace-makers in the area and some of their work is on display at the Ulster Canal Stores (wwww.cloneslace.com) where you can enquire about the possibility of purchasing their wares.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Ireland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
20 seriously weird places around the world

20 seriously weird places around the world

The world is a weird (and wonderful) place. And from a rose-coloured lake to a Japanese island ruled by cats, we've got twenty pictures to prove it. 1. Spotted…

26 Jul 2017 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right