Kells Embroidery

Kells embroidery is a form of Celtic Revival work, which dates from the early 1880's.

Kells embroidery was first produced by Alice Hart (c. 1850-1931), who set up the Donegal Industrial Fund in December 1883, in order to revive cottage industries, such as embroidery and weaving. Kells embroidery was worked on Irish linen with dyed and polished linen threads, used in order to strengthen the Irish artistic link and to help local producers of linen goods. The designs used for Kells embroidery were strongly influenced by the illustrated pages from the Book of Kells, an illuminated Gospel containing the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which is now in Trinity College Library, Dublin (MS A. I. (58)). The manuscript was produced in about AD 800.

In 1885 Kells embroidery won the gold medal at the Inventions Exhibition in London.

See also the TRC Needles entry on Irish lace and Kells lace.

Sources: HELLAND, Janice (2004). 'Working bodies, Celtic textiles and the Donegal Industrial Fund 1883-1890,' Textile, 2:2, pp. 134-155.


Digital source 


Last modified on Thursday, 27 April 2017 14:50
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