How do I Choose the Best Irish Lace Curtains?

Sonal Panse

Irish lace curtains, with their beautiful and intricate design patterns, have long been a popular home decor choice. They were once painstakingly made by hand using various crocheting and needlepoint techniques, and individual families developed and guarded particular patterns. The lace-making developed as an industry and was instrumental in providing a sustainable living to the poverty-stricken Irish people, particularly during the Potato Famine of the nineteenth century. The laces are now mostly made by machines in lace-making factories, although handmade laces are also available.

Irish lace curtains were once made by hand using needlepoint techniques.
Irish lace curtains were once made by hand using needlepoint techniques.

To choose the best Irish lace curtains, you will need to sift through the quite numerous pattern varieties and types of curtains available. Many Irish lace curtain sellers have an online presence, and this ought to make the selection task easier. You will need to find a pattern that appeals to you personally, suits your overall home decor plan, and is compatible with your budget.

Irish lace curtains should always be washed by hand.
Irish lace curtains should always be washed by hand.

The handmade lace, owing to the labor involved, will generally be more expensive than factory made lace. Prices of Irish lace curtains can also vary depending on type and intricacy of the laces. Material of the lace curtains will also factor in the cost; laces are usually made from cotton, linen, polyester and other synthetic fabrics.

Irish lace curtains can come in sheer types, open weaves, and closed patterns. The curtains can be used on their own, in combination with outer curtains, or backed with different kinds of linings. The choice depends on the effect you want to achieve and the amount of light you want the lace curtains to let in.

Once you've decided on an Irish lace pattern and type, it will be necessary to calculate the required width and length of the lace curtains. This, of course, will depend on the size of the windows and doors where the curtains are going to be installed. The curtains should preferably be twice the size of the frames they are to cover.

Caring for Irish lace curtains is not an onerous task. To begin with, make sure that the curtain rods are clean before hanging Irish lace curtains. As curtains tend to catch dust and dirt, cleaning Irish lace curtains on a regular basis will be necessary to keep them looking good. Given the delicacy of Irish lace, machine washing should be avoided and the curtains should be washed with hand in cold, soapy water, without using any kind of bleach or detergent. The lace curtains should then be left to dry naturally.

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Discussion Comments


If you know how to sew, you can make curtains that aren't authentic Irish lace, but look very similar. All you will need is a pattern or an example of Irish lace used to make these curtains, and some lacy material. With some skill, you an create a pretty design and curtains that will look great, but cost a lot less than real Irish lace curtains.


I have an aunt who is Irish, and she gave me a set of Irish lace curtains that belonged to her grandmother. I love the intricate, lacy pattern they have, so I want to use them but protect them at the same time. In order not to ruin them by using them too much, I only use them for special occasions and during holiday seasons.

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