The mill was founded in 1723 and has a long history of activity and inactivity. It is the oldest working woolen mill in Ireland and one of the world's oldest manufacturing companies. It is also Ireland's oldest surviving business.
In 1760 a Fly Shuttle Loom, capable of weaving up to 20 metres of cloth a day arrived.
Workers, concerned about possible unemployment, resorted to burning some looms. They thought the "machines" would put hand weavers out of business!
Three sisters, the Wynnes, inherited the mill in the 1920s and introduced color – exuberant color!
As you walk around the garden and see the colors of the blooming flowers, it's easy to see where the inspiration for the yarn colors come from!
We were ushered into a “learning area” where we received lots of information on how the mill operates, how it has changed hands between owners –and the lady narrating for us was just delightful. But the thing you notice most inside this area is the COLOR of the wool items!
Color! Everywhere color!
Extremely soft to the touch…don’t you just want to pet it?
Further down into our tour I took a little video of this gentleman working the hand loom:
In 1974, Donald Pratt, a solicitor engaged to handle the sale of the mill which now faced closure decided to buy it himself. Along with his wife, Hilary, a teacher, he set about getting Avoca Handweavers back on its feet. The Pratts began exporting handwoven rugs and throws to the UK and other countries. Avoca throws are still sold across the globe.
;The Story of Avoca from Avoca Ireland on Vimeo.
This is a video about the mill and the current owners!
And more of my photos are in the slide show below. If you can’t view it on your mobile device, click the image to go to the photo album directly!
And please notice what FUN our ladies had shopping!
The grounds are absolutely beautiful…we really enjoyed our time at Avoca!
|Avoca Woolen Mill, Wicklow, Ireland 2013|