York Street Mill Irish Linen Handkerchief
I believe there should be an irish linen handkerchief in every irish persons pocket or bag, wherever you are in the world, a piece of Irish linen with you to wipe a tear or a brow, or just to remind you of and connect you to home.
I am making these handkerchiefs using linen I was given by a friend who's grandfather worked in the world renowned York Street linen mill in Belfast, during our Linenopolis heyday. The early 1900's when Ireland was the worlds greatest linen producer and the seas were carrying ships stacked high with Irish linen all around the world. Much of that linen was woven at York Street mill - one of Irelands largest mills at that time. This linen is finer than fine - it is of the highest quality and woven for handkerchiefs and shirts. It is both delicate and strong. They are all finished with rolled hems, hand sewn by me. Each print is made using a hand cut paper stencils, the silkscreen prints are pulled by me here in my studio at my home in Belfast. They are a labour of love, each piece entirely made in Belfast. The idea is that the handkerchief is given as a token, gifted to someone you know who will understand the long legacy of textile craft in Ireland, its linen industry and the hard work, toil and labour of the linen mill workers of both times gone by and now. Those of us currently working in the irish linen industry do so mainly out of love for the heritage and the textile, it is still hard work, same as it ever was.
Each print/flower design will be limited to 10 prints - the prints include a buttercup, red clover and shamrock leaf, common irish meadow plants. Each handkerchief will be packaged in a linen voile bag with a postcard featuring the mill workers in York Street Mill taken in 1936, courtesy of Getty images.
The measurements vary slightly but are approximately 26 cms square. There is a possible 2 week wait for these as they are hand sewn and not all ready to ship yet.