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Needlework and the New World

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 05, 1989


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by Linda M. Ballard

"Many of the immigrant women arriving in new countries must have brought with them necessary accoutrements to help them in setting up home.

Included among these must have been patchwork bedcovers and other soft furnishings, perhaps even decorative items conducive to well-being and comfort.

Many more must have brought with them skills and design ideas learned at home and implemented in their new dwellings.

While trading contacts in the textile and other industries may be understood as the consequence of painstaking study of available documentary evidence, domestic textile use and production is less easily charted, and its relevance to the understanding of contact between old and new countries may consequently be underestimated."

This article looks at the relevance of needlework to the understanding of contact between Ireland and the New World.