Delicate Irish lace has long accented a bridal gown. Many brides choose wedding veils made of Irish lace or carry hankies of lace. Lace making originated in France but the practice was brought to Ireland by Ursuline nuns. When Ireland's economy and people were suffering as a result of the potato famine in the mid 1800's, the nuns helped the Irish women and girls survive by teaching them the art of making lace. In time, it became one of the most important industries in Ireland. An excellent place to view the varieties of Irish lace is at the Sheelin Irish Lace Museum.