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Lecture: Irish Linen for Kings and Clergy, Peasants and Paupers

February 11, 2015
Fullerton Hall
Free with museum admission

In the second half of the 17th century, Ireland recognized the potential market for linen cloth and her greatest industry—the linen industry—was born. Kathleen Curtis Wilson, Fellow, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, explores the history and skill of the Irish artisans. For example, a spinner had to be able to spin a single strand of evenly twisted yarn that was strong enough to weave cloth of gossamer-like delicacy. A woman in County Antrim spun yarn so fine that three skeins of it could pass through a wedding ring—approximately 1,000 yards wound into a loose knot. Her yarn was woven into a piece of fine linen cambric and reportedly presented to Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), wife of King George III.

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