A fascinating blog on Irish textiles – there really is much more to us than the famine!
Do you remember this post I wrote about Swift’s 1720 pamphlet called the Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture? Well, here is another quote from it:
I think it needless to exhort the clergy to follow this good example, because in a little time, those among them who are so unfortunate to have had their birth and education in this country, will think themselves abundantly happy when they can afford Irish crape, and an Athlone hat; and as to the others I shall not presume to direct them.
And so what was an Athlone hat?
“A Merry-Making” by Dutch painter Cornelis Dusart, 1692 (hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland). See the resemblance of the felt hats worn by the peasants here to the boggy ones below.
Click to make much bigger. These are three 16th-17th century felt hats which were found perfectly preserved in…
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