WATCH NOW: NE Iowa Weavers & Spinners takes center stage at Iowa Irish Fest | Local News

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Members will also showcase examples of Irish crochet, bobbin lace, linen, Aran knit and Irish linen. Examples of woven pieces made at previous Iowa Irish Fests will be displayed.

Historically, Irish textiles were economically vital to the country, Kruger said. According to the Irish Guild of Weaving, the first woven material found in Ireland dates from around 1600 BC. Another piece of tissue unearthed in a bog dates from at least 700 BC.

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The Irish became known as successful wool producers and exporters, but during the Tudor era (1485-1603) English woolen merchants began to complain and Irish wool could no longer be exported. “They had nowhere to market their product, so they switched to flax and started weaving Irish flax,” said Kruger, which is still in high demand today.

Irish lace is also famous. Lace was made by nuns in convents and used for church clothing until the potato famine (1845-1852). “People ate grass to survive, to have something in their stomachs. The nuns took their lace out of the convents and started selling it and brought schools to the convents to teach Irish women how to make lace so that they could be the support of their families, ”she said. Explain.

The Northeast Iowa Weavers & Spinners Guild was established in 1951 to practice and learn the traditional trades of weaving, spinning, carpet making and other fiber arts. The group originally met at member homes, Gates Park, and the Waterloo Center for the Arts. In 1990, members purchased a storefront on the Cedar Falls Parkade, but sold the building in 2008. In 2010, the guild moved to its current location.


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