Amazing Lace

Creator(s): St. Marys Museum

A History of Tambour Lace Making in St. Marys, Ontario

This Community Memories exhibit features the work of Margaret MacArthur Weir (1809-1895), a Scottish tambour lace-maker who emigrated to a farm near St. Marys, Ontario with her husband and young family in 1843. Throughout her life, Margaret produced great quantities of lace. Even after her death her work was incorporated into clothing for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

First, the exhibit traces the history and production of tambour lace through a rich array of Margaret's work: exquisite edgings, costumes and curtaining, each piece crafted with precision and an eye for detail. Other artefacts, photographs, maps and documents showcase Margaret Weir's new life in Canada as a mother and a lace-maker.

Contemporary Lace-Making in St. Marys, Ontario

Although lace-making might seem like a lost art, the second part of the Amazing Lace exhibit features the work of four contemporary lace-makers. Their tatting, knitting, crochet and needle laces, and their reasons for continuing the legacy of this textile craft, bring Margaret Weir's work into perspective, bridging three centuries of lace making in St. Marys.

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