I’ve been trying to pin down exactly what Limerick lace is. I always thought it was needlerun lace on net, but various descriptions seem to suggest it is any lace made in Limerick, whether tambour, neelderun or variations on embroidery. Mrs F Nevill Jackson in her book ‘Old handmade lace’ describes it as being of three varieties which she describes as tambour (using chain stitch on machine made net), run (coarse threads are run upon net), and applique (cambric or net is overlaid on net, sewn down and the background then cut away) – which sounds like what I would call Carrickmacross lace. Matthew Potter in his recent book about the Limerick lace industry entitled ‘Amazing lace’ describes Limerick as coming in two forms: tambour and needlerun. He says Charles Walker introduced tambour lace to Limerick in 1829 and that needlerun lace was introduced by the late 1830s by Jonas Rolf. Limerick does therefore seem to be a catch all name for a variety of lace types, which are linked more by their design and final appearance than by the techniques that made them.