When speaking of Ireland, the Emerald Isle conjures up many images when you hear its name, such as Guinness and redheads, but most think of Irish Dancing. For centuries people have been taking part in competitions, and as the years have gone by the fashion for dresses have changed drastically.
With a little help from Crystal Parade, you can add some sparkle to your Irish dancing dresses and accessories.
Back in the day the dresses were simple, with traditional Irish knotwork that was based on the Book of Kells. However, nowadays the dresses are styled to the individual wearing them and often include more intricate details, bright colours and lots of embellishments, including crystals and rhinestones.
THE HISTORY OF IRISH DANCING
While Irish dancing only became competitive around the 18th century, it’s roots can be traced all the way back to the 12th century after the Normans conquered. They brought with them music and dance, which soon evolved into the art we all know and love today. The dances themselves are formal, with the dancers adopting a rigid upper body position coupled with quick foot movements.
The costumes that the dancers adorn have changed gradually over the years, and some of that change gives thanks to a show called Riverdance. The dresses must allow for flexibility, with the skirts falling to just above the knee and the waistlines dropping lower as the years go by. Thanks to the show, the colours of the dresses became more garish and bright until most recently, when the traditional ways started to make a comeback.
Knotwork embroidery is often incorporated with shimmering rhinestones, sequins and diamantes, beads and crystals. Irish dancing dresses can be expensive, especially when participating in solo competitions, but you can easily decorate the dresses yourself with the help of Crystal Parade.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
When it comes to competitions you want to stand out to the judges and the best way to do that is to add a personal touch to your dress or accessories. At Crystal Parade we have a wide range of style, colours and fixing methods for Swarovski and Preciosa crystals.
You can choose to go for Swarovski non-hotfix crystals, known as sequins, diamantes and rhinestones, which have a flat foiler mirrored backing and can be applied with glue such as the Gem Tac glue. Extremely easy to use, you can be sure that your dresses will be sparkling within no time. On the other hand, you can also choose to use hotfix crystals, known as loose crystal elements, that also have a flat mirrored backing. The back of the crystal is pre-coated with a cold glue that is activated by heat. This can be done through various methods, such as the Hotfix Kandi Kane, a household iron or even a heat press if you have one.
Looking for a cheaper alternative to Swarovski crystals? Preciosa crystals are often 30% less expensive and are still of a high quality, often coming in a range of colours, styles and sizes. They both also offer sew on stones and crystals buttons for an authentic touch to your costumes.
CHOOSE A COLOUR THAT MATCHES YOU PERFECTLY
Solo Irish dancers are allowed to choose their own colours and designs for their dresses and Crystal Parade offer a wide range of colours to suit whatever look you choose. If you choose to go for a more traditional style then we recommend going for more earthy tones such as the Mochachoca mix, the Emerald City mix, the Honey Pot mix, or even the Golden mix for a touch of glimmer.
LOOKING FOR A SUBTLER DESIGN?
Then we suggest choosing one of our sets that include cooler tones, but still give you that shimmer to make you stand out. Incorporate blues and silvers into your Irish dresses with our Peacock mix, the dark Midnight mix, the luxurious Burlesque mix, and the icy Frozen mix.