She would have been working in the Ayrshire lace industry. Ayrshire lace is a type of "whitework" ie white-on-white embroidery which was done at home on a piecework basis. The needlepoint filling (floo'ering or flowering) was the most specialised technique and it's that which differentiates Ayrshire work from other types of whitework. You'll find lots of floo-erers (or spelling variants) in the mid-19th C censuses for Ayrshire as that's when the industry was at its height. I'm lucky enough to have a part-written autobiography of my great-grandfather (b 1848) and in it he says
"... my mother had to do something to help my fathers wage she was a good flourer as they call it in thon days that is a kind of embroidery and I was often away from the school going to the wairwoom with and getting new webs and doing some of the housework to let my mother get on with her work ..."
We've actually got an Ayrshire lace christening gown passed down in the family as an heirloom. Would you believe ... I've never seen it
but I need to go home to my mother's next year and photograph it for something I'm doing.
In the meantime I'll put a photo of some Ayrshire work (taken at the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock) in the gallery so that you can see what it looks like.
I was actually christened in the christening gown so I have "seen" it, I just don't remember!
be the link for the photo:
http://talkingscot.com/gallery/displayi ... p?pos=-321