Kirkcowan – What's Going On?

Lace Making

This was a fairly widespread cottage industry during the period of 1750 to 1850, with the raw cotton being supplied by agents from Ayrshire who then collected and paid for the finished work.

Kirkcowan lace was known as “Kirkcowan Wab” The manufacture of lace survived into the early 20th century, but by then individuals made only enough for themselves.

Lace makers used to form themselves into groups who met in a different house each night to save the expense of light and heat. To enhance the light of a single candle, it was placed behind a glass globe filled with water.

The activity of lace making was locally termed “floorin’ the wab”