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New Member

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:07 pm
by Stitchlily
Hi, I'm in Kerry, and not a member of any re-enactment groups, yet. (Is there any in Kerry?). I have a textile backround (weaving/knitting, etc), and am trying to do some research into Irish textiles, any age or type. I am starting from the beginning, I want to grow the fibres, prepare, spin, weave, knit, make the items. So, I would appreciate any advice on books, tools, techniques, etc...I know, its a huge area, huge time-line, but I'm obsessive, and expect this to be a life-long project!!

Re: New Member

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:02 pm
by Bandraoi
Welcome :mrgreen:

Just as I happen to be looking at it in work, already mentioned in another thread but... ... #education
Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Wednesday 12 November: 11.30am & 2.00pm
Talk & Workshop. Traditional Natural Dyeing

Join June Bourke as she uses natural materials to create colours for dyeing wool and cloth.
Location. Education Room.

And from The Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co Leitrim
Instructor: Mary Luthers
Course Date: 2 Nov 2008
Often wondered how to dye your own wool or fabrics? This course will give you an introduction to the ancient craft of dyeing and discuss the old traditions. You will learn about different natural plants, dyes and mordants and then dye some wool with onion skins.
Price: €95.00

CELT project in Scarriff, Co Clare, can't see anything of interest at present, but they often have cool stuff.

Good Luck!

Re: New Member

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:19 pm
by Stitchlily
Thanks for the links, but I'm jinxed when it comes to courses. I know they go on, but I'm usually the other side of the country or can't make the dates and its infuriating! I have decided instead to try organise a workshop with a teacher and venue for when I'm available, and do it that way instead!

Re: New Member

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:09 am
by Bandraoi
Good plan :o)

Re: New Member

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:29 am
by Dave Mooney
Hi and welcome,
Your closest groups will be us, Mogh Roith, in County Clare, Sean & Mel in Newcastle West Co. Limerick (don't know what the rest of the lads are up to these days) and the assorted Cork groups such as Med & Ren, Na Degad, Romans, etc,. You may have to network between us for re-enactment reasons. Our Bill comes and goes from Kerry and has run events down that way so you never know.

I tried growing a small example patch of flax this year in Craggaunowen but I don't think the aspect or soil type suited the plants.

I'm looking into growing a field of flax for linen production as a demo on the foundation of Mountshannon, Co. Clare. ( )I'm looking for mid-1700's looms if you know of anyone willing to loan, travel, demo?


Re: New Member

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:48 pm
by Stitchlily
Sounds like an interesting project. I volunteer at the local Community Organic Garden, its where I got the idea for a weavers/dyers garden because someone brought in a flax plant, and I'd never seen a real one before. The plant didnt last either. But it got us thinking of setting up a little plot with other fibre-friendly plants. I know so few people that stil weave, or have space for looms. I have an old floor loom, (I've no idea how old it is), under my stairs. A piece of it fell apart when I when I was trying to take it down. If it was going to be put to some good use, and there was someone handy with a hammer to fix it, I'd consider giving it out on a long-term loan. I dont know if it would be up to production weaving, but it would be great for demos. Its beautiful machine and I feel guilty when I think of it lying there unused. I worked on another loom that must be at least 150 years old, that was like wrestling a crocodile!They havent changed that much over time, neither has the techniques. So, if you need any help, just let me know. (Or if you grow Flax successfully, let me know that as well!!)



Re: New Member

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:35 am
by Bandraoi
What about the nettle fibers; has anybody here ever harvested/processed nettles for this use, or is it a different type of nettle than our common one now?

Re: New Member

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:40 am
by Dave Mooney
I had the idea to at the start of the year while working in Craggaunowen but then drifted off to other things. There is no authentic equipment at the Crag so I wasn't going to use modern gear there. It was bad enough using a mattock to dig the field. I'm ordering proper hoes for next season.

I'd think you'd only get cordage out of can use briar fibre for cord also.

Re: New Member

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:16 pm
by Stitchlily
I'm trying to get the local Organic Garden involved, I'm working on the Heritage angle, as I just dont have enough space. They said I could have a nettle patch, as they are very good for breeding Ladybirds, so double purpose. So, I'll be looking into it. Also, I've been reading about growing Flax, I didnt realise there are different seeds, and you sow them differently depending on what you want fibre/seeds/oil. So, thats on the list of things to do as well..I am going to just spend the winter reading all about it, then start properly in the spring.

I havent been to Craggaunowen in years, I must make it up that way again soon. Is the boat still there? I have a thing for boats, and always remember being in awe of it. As a child I thought it was the actual St. Brendens boat, but that could have been down to my lying older brother...

Re: New Member

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:43 pm
by Dave Mooney
It could have been down to a lying tour guide as well :P

Yep it's still there.