Friday, June 14, 2013

Avoca Woolen Mills!

Out in County Wicklow, amidst green rolling hills, streams and quiet farmlands lies the Avoca Woolen Mill.

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!
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Color! Everywhere color!
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Loom display
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Happy Color!
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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

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Eccles said...

Thank you so much for taking time to share all this! I love the sound of the loom, so rhythmic. Continued safe travels :)

Glady said...

Every morning I log on for more travel adventures with Bonnie and friends. Thanks for all your time and pictures. It is greatly appreciated!

Sharon Green said...

I am having such a wonderful staycation watching your wonderful photos of Ireland. Thanks so much for sharing.

SweetAmbrosia said...

This morning coffee break reading the Adventures of Bonnie K was one of the best chapters ever! What a wonderful place.

How can anyone choose which of the beautiful plaids you would buy!!!? The colors were so terrific. I bet luggage weight coming back will surely be a lot heavier than when leaving ;)

Smiles, JulieinTN

Mary Cooper said...

I love reading your adventures in Ireland. I was there back in 2010, including some of the places you are sharing. I loved Avoca. I was also into the BBC show Ballykissangel which was filmed in the small town.

Liz said...

Well, guess what's on my list to see when I go to Ireland? Thank you for sharing Bonnie. What beautiful grounds too. Guess I better start saving my money to buy an Avoca wool blanket.

NancyinSTL said...

I love madras plaids and these blankets look like beautiful madras blankets. Okay, so what did you buy?

Norah Rice said...

More wonderful pictures that you have shared!!! I am so envious:) Thank you so much!!!

mpainter said...

truly paradise-wool, a mill, beautiful gardens. Bonnie, thank you so much for sharing with us the lands and people we will not have the opportunity to see and enjoy. I look forward every day to your blog. Enjoy!mary

Beth said...

Wow! Fantastic color. I do want to pet all of it. Looks like lots of shopping there.

JaneB said...

Thanks for the virtual tour! Did a lovely colored throw come home with you?