Monday, May 23, 2011

An 800 year old Irish woolen craft tradition- still going strong!

Here's a new video of the process, from sheep at Kilkenny Zwarbles farm onwards! 

Have a watch of the video just below:

Soft throws made at Cushendale Traditional Woolen Mill
One of the hidden treasures on the Kilkenny Craft Trail is the Cushendale Woolen Mill, tucked away on a hill by the little gurgling river Duiske in Graignamanagh. Here the Cushen family continue the 800+ yr old tradition of woolen mills in Graig: their website tells us: 

''In 1204 Cistercian monks, having discovered the pure water quality of the River Duiske, built a monastery and mills in Graig-na-managh. Their monastery prospered through the export of wool, to become their largest Irish foundation – Duiske Abbey. In time, the small town of GrĂ¡ig na Manach ~ “the monks’ village”grew up around the abbey and its mills.''

Cushendale uses Irish wool and lambswool, as well as mohair, and produces many wonderful finished 
products, as well as knitting yarns.

The river Duiske's water makes the colours more vibrant

Much handwork still goes in to the items produced by the woolen mill.

This is one job I'd definitely fail at- I can't even cut a short length of paper straight. Highly impressed!

Along with the bright jewel tones, many natural tones are used.

As well as the beauty of the yarns, & the skills of 
the mill workers, the machines & contraptions in 
themselves were quite wonderful to see.

Such beauty in some of the old bits of machinery!

The rough & the soft.

Cushendale makes genuine Irish products, and I must say Thank You so much to Bernie Neville, Kathleen Joyce, Sheila Jordan & Beata Kesek, and Philip & Mary Cushen-- not just for the friendly tour, but for the evident pride you have in your work; continuing on such a wonderful Irish craft tradition in the heart of a very special medieval village.


  1. Thanks for finding these treasures. I never knew about this place and would love to visit now.....I love yarns! Those fuschias and foxglovey colours are gorgeous.

    1. It is really a hidden treasure, tucked away by the river Duiske- right in the middle of Graiguenamanagh, but there isn't signage for it in the main street of town- just outside the shop- so do google street map it or ask a local if you miss it :-) It is just up a wee hill!


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