An Irish scarf for the winter.

Oct 30, 2013

Loom

Based in the south west of Ireland, we got in touch with Fiadh through our stylist friend Jeanne Goutelle, after they met at a Paris workshop called, “Master Class Wool”, in which Jeanne was teaching. Fiadh and Monsieur London then designed the patterns, selected the threads together over the summer and here is the result.

Scarves technical details:

Crean and Longfield scarves are 50% merino wool and 50% lambs-wool. The flecked yarn is the soft Donegal merino coming from Donegal yarn, Kilcarr. The lambs-wool is from JC Rennie in Scotland. Our Pentland scarves are made from the same variety.

The Bransfield scarves are made from a 100% Shetland wool, sourced from Gardiner yarns in West Yorkshire. The wool comes in oil and is hand scoured after weaving.

All pieces were hand woven on a Swedish glimakra 10 shaft countermarch floor loom but, let’s interview Fiadh herself to get to know her process….

Hand loomed scarf

How did you get in to hand-woven design?

I have always been drawn to the idea of making and building things from scratch, even as a child I loved constructing , drawing and sewing, when I was too old for playing with Barbie dolls, I made clothes for them.

As I grew older I was dead set on working towards a career in  fashion design so when I got accepted into the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, I spent the core year taking all fashion and textiles modules. By the end of this year it was clear to me and my tutors that my strength lay in making and designing fabric so I went on happily to study textiles. This course consists of 3 disciplines, print, embroidery and weave and in year 3 and 4 I specialised in woven design.

After college I worked and trained with Lisbeth Mulcahy, a well renowned Danish weaver/artist based in Ireland. Following that I could see an opening in the market for new, fresh and more design based hand woven design so I established my own weaving workshop.

Know how

Could you tell us about new Irish design?

There is a notable shift going on in Irish design. There’s a renewed interest in handmade and people are looking for something unique with longevity. There are many emerging contemporary designers in textiles, ceramics and metals and large department stores like Brown Thomas and Arnotts, who are promoting and exhibiting Irish craft and design.

 A good indication of  progression in Irish design is the success in recent years of Showcase, Ireland’s Creative Expo of Irish craft & design in the RDS, it is building a great global profile and attracting many visitors and buyers from Japan and the US. I believe that although the country if still struggling economically it is a good time to be a young new designer on the irish craft scene in Ireland.

What makes your product high quality?

Craftsmanship, I am constantly working on developing the skills and techniques needed to produce long lasting, high quality, and luxurious products. I use high quality natural materials in the weaving and it is becoming increasingly important to me to know the yarn producers and tracing the source of fibres whether it be plant or animal. Carefully selecting the colour and pattern is also really important, the designing is one of the really fun parts of being a weaver.

Loom

What is technically the hardest thing to do when handweaving?

Set up! Setting up the loom for a new design can be extremely tedious, hundreds of threads to be knotted, and threaded in various ways. It is all worth it though when you sit down and start weaving beautiful fabric.

What is the material you enjoy working with the most?

Wool, cotton & silk. I love working with any natural materials, synthetics can mimic but they are never as nice to touch and work with.

What is for you the value of handmade?

It is hugely satisfying to begin with a string of yarn and go through the whole process to create a finished piece. Also, the beauty of making textiles by hand is that each piece is unique.

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