Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lisburn Linen Museum


I got off the train in Lisburn, Northern Ireland with no idea where the museum was.  So I started walking to town and discovered that there were 2 roads out of the station,money takes you to the museum and the other to another part of town. I took the wrong road.

The museum at last.

First I learned all about the cotton workers who wove muslin and what happened to them and the famine that resulted.

They were wonderful display with linen garments.

And bolts of linen too.

And in the spinners room lots of wheels.

They all had flax on them.

This tall one was interesting.  The spinner told me she didn't like using it.  I thought that when she turned the wheel it just needed a good oiling.

Part of the spinners cottage display

All of these models had linen clothing on.

These were the seals to certify brown linen.

This was a silk gown that was lined with linen, it was really beautiful.

This case was full of miniature linen pieces.

This shows one of the designs for the jacquard dobby looms.

These are the punch cards used to make the damask patterns. 

Some of the looms follow.

I talked with the weaver for a long time.  She was very knowledgeable and wove a little so I could watch.  They alwatpys wove with singles yarn.  The looms have a flying shuttle that is set by pulling a cord and a flick of the wrist.  It looked effortless compared to the flying shuttle on my own rug loom. 

There were smaller looms too. It was a pretty fascinating place.  I am glad I made a special trip to see it all.

Here is the weaver working on one ofnthe massive dobby looms.  She told me sometimes families would have 2 looms and they would weave day and night to make their quotas. Everyone in the family worked.  It would take 6 people to get the loom warped. They wove fabric in 100 yard lengths.  Each warp would be several times that length.  They tied old warps on to new ones so there was little rethreading done.  These men and women were amazing craftsmen and craftwomen.

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