There is nothing that gets us out the door faster than a road trip, so it was a joy to head to the South West recently to Kerry where we met up with Andrew and his team at the wonderful Kerry Woollen Mills. Third-generation weavers, Andrews' family have continued the quality and excellence in yarn spinning, dyeing and cloth weaving that this local mill is known for, for over 300 years.
Nestled off the beaten track beside the river Gweestin, this mill today uses modern technology and processes to produce beautiful quality blankets and tweed.
We were given a special tour by Andrew, showing us the entire start-to-finish process. Yarn is brought in in bales, sifted, dyed, blended and spun onto bobbins and spools. Looms, of which there are several and of differing widths, are warped and set up for pattern and design. Weaving takes place in a large shed and the hum of shuttles and machines fills the air and sets a rhythmic pulse to the place.
The cloth is then either finished as cloth or finished as blankets in the next shed, where the washing, drying and pressing take place. The walls of this wonderfully unique place are steeped in a rich atmosphere of tradition and energy from the years of human endeavour and skill instilled.
Modern technology and investment in sustainable energy sources mean this mill is now feeding electricity back to the grid which is so impressive.
Thank you to Andrew and all the team for this immersive, educational experience and for doing what you do so well. We wish you all continued success!
Our appetites whetted we went on to eat a delicious lunch at Emilies in Glenbeigh (which we highly recommend for their superb sourdough and well-stocked deli). Home same day fully recharged and inspired!