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A Black mannequin wearing an Irish lace dress at the Gmund 6th Brazilian Culture Festival “Brazil meets Gmünd” (Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2023), in Gmünd, Austria.

Between the states of Bahia and Alagoas, northeast region in Brazil, Sergipe is renowned for its intricate handicrafts, including crochets, lace, Richelieu, sculptures, and ceramics. Among these, the Irish lace stands out.

A Rich Heritage of Craftsmanship. From Europe to Brazil

A group of courageous nuns, fleeing the horrors of war and famine that plagued Ireland in the late 19th century, found a new home in Sergipe, Brazil. Amidst chaos and misery, these determined women taught the local population their art. The Irish Lace became a means to sustain their communities through the delicate and unique technique of lacemaking from Europe.

Born and nearly forgotten in Ireland, the craft flourished in convents where the nuns taught novices to transform threads into works of art. With hearts full of hope and skillful hands, these nuns carried the tradition to distant lands.

The Thrilling Story of Irish Lace in Sergipe

Thus, Irish Lace, which emerged in times of adversity, found a new chapter in Brazilian lands, where it continues to be a testament to the strength and creativity of the women who keep it alive.

The Craft of Irish Lace: Tecniques and Traditions

The production of Irish lace in Sergipe involves precise techniques passed down through generations. The lace is known for its unique designs and intricate patterns, including: Frog Mouth, Round Spider, Pineapple, Two or Tree-Part Spider, Buttonhole, Coconut Sweet, loop, Half Moon Spider and Donkey's Tooth. 

Photo showcasing various types of Irish lace embroidery, including Frog Mouth, Round Spider, Pineapple, Tree-Part Spider, Buttonhole, and Coconut Sweet patterns.

Applications of Irish Lace : Irish Lace from Sergipe is used in various products

  • Home Textiles: Tablecloths, napkins, table runners, tray cloths, hand towels, and bath towels.

  • Clothing: Vests, sleeveless blouses, and other accessories.

  • Accessories: Bijou and lace appliqué.

Irish Lace Catalog: The Ancestry that Enchants and Transforms

Nestled in the heart of Sergipe, the art of Irish lace-making is a testament to the enduring beauty and resilience of cultural traditions. This intricate craft, passed down through generations, weaves together threads of history, artistry, and community spirit. The Irish Lace Catalog offers a curated selection of these timeless pieces, each one a unique embodiment of the skill and dedication of Sergipe’s artisans. 

A Celebration of Brazilian Crafts

The "Irish Lace Catalogue" is more than a product window; each piece carries centuries of history, a legacy preserved by dedicated artisans, most of whom are women.

Supporting the Economy

Irish Lace plays a crucial role in Sergipe’s economy. Each lacemaker is an entrepreneur, and the lace production is a vital source of employment and income for local communities. Purchasing Irish Lace supports Sergipe families and helps preserve this cultural heritage.

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