The story of Irish linen is a story of the Irish people. Many thousands of men and women made Irish linen a global product and an international brand. It is also a story of innovation and opportunity. Irish linen has served its makers as sail cloth of incredible strength and durability for world exploration and trade; it has functioned as watertight containers for farmers and firemen; it has soothed the brows of royalty and absorbed the sweat of the working class. As outerwear and underwear, linen has clothed men, women, and children from birth to death - the rich and powerful, poor and pitiful alike. Into this cultural history Kathleen Curtis Wilson weaves personal narratives and the words and songs of individual spinners, factory workers, and out-workers like Sarah McCabe, who created fabulous linen lace; Sarah Leech, who wrote poetry as she spun fine thread; the three Patterson women, who worked in Mossley Mill for a total of one hundred years; and the Herdman brothers, who settled in county Tyrone to build a mill and a utopian community.
Lavishly illustrated and engagingly written, each chapter tells of art, social and economic history, design, architecture, technology, and cultural traditions that celebrate the linen industry.
Publisher: Ohio University Press