Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

More Postcards – These Ones Relating to WSD February 13, 2011

As readers of this blog know, I collect postcards, and one of my themes is postcards relating to weaving, spinning, and dyeing.  My friend Bettina of Woolly Bits  – in the west of Ireland –  recently sent me a few cards to add to my collection.  Thank you Bettina.

The cards are from the National Museum of Ireland, Country Life,  near Castlebar in County Mayo.  A wonderful museum if you ever have a chance to visit.

  this card is of an Aran sweater but a most unusual colour.  I know red was worn by the women in the Aran Islands but a red gansey I have never seen.

     the caption on this card is Spinning and Carding Wool, but as Bettina has pointed out, this caption is incorrect.  Only one person is spinning and the other person is beating flax, I think.  Is that retting?

  the caption here is Carding wool, Connemara.  She certainly is carding wool – and looks very hard done by.  Poor woman looks very care worn.


4 Responses to “More Postcards – These Ones Relating to WSD”

  1. kaysea Says:

    Jan, The picture of the aran sweater looks orange to me not red! Is that just the digital adjustment as to color or semantics? KC

  2. Janet Says:

    On the card itself it’s a strong red. The Aran women are famous for their red petticoats worn in the early years of the last century, but a red, or an orange, Aran knit fisherman’s jersey – no. Off white, or white as it occurs naturally on the sheep, is the traditional colour. I don’t know why the Museum people decided to choose a red Aran sweater for their postcard. Maybe they were going for a modern showpiece as opposed to a picture of a sweater knit 100 years ago. Are they trying to sell postcards or are they going for historical authenticity??

  3. Kaysea Says:

    Jan, This time I have accessed your blog via AOL and the sweater is red! Also it is early afternoon…better light or better eyesight? Gosh. KC

  4. Annie Dibble Says:

    the front woman in the middle postcard is scutching – see http://www.ulsterlinen.com/flax.htm
    interesting a similar process is still used by Himalayan Rai Tribes to spin nettle fibre.

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