Sunday, 21 November 2010
Traditional Crafts by Kathleen French (H.E. Assignment)
Firstly there is lace. Irish lace was very much in demand in early days. Lace was handcrafted by grandparents, mothers and daughters. They worked by candlelight or gaslight. This would bring in extra money.
Then you had the Aran jumpers. Aran knitwear was very much in demand for export to America. Factories would export Aran knitware and employ women in their homes to knit for them. This would bring in extra money.
Women were very skilled in tradition and in all kinds of different skills. In early days this is how people earned their living. In later years Factories were set up. This done away with most of the work at home. Still today there are some women who work from home, and the Aran sweater is still pretty much in demand.
The young today don't have the skills to teach, and our traditions are fading away. We have a new women's group in Lifford in which we are doing all these crafts.
This is cultural history.