Irish linen, a fabric woven from the flax plant, has a rich and storied history.
This enchanting textile has journeyed through time and tradition, touching every stratum of society from the humblest homes to the grandest palaces. Today, it stands as a symbol of Irish heritage, steeped in craftsmanship and culture.

From Field To Fabric

Flax cultivation in Ireland dates back to around 1000 BC, during the Bronze Age, but the industry didn't take off until the 12th century. The damp Irish climate and the rich, well-drained soil proved to be ideal for the growth of flax.

The beautiful flowers that appear for 12 hours on the flax plants are affectionately known as the "wee blue blossom". A field of flax in bloom, swaying in the breeze is a truly wonderful sight and a strong (but not too strong!) wind is good for strengthening the stems.

The Golden Age of Irish Linen

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Irish linen experienced its golden age. Belfast, known as 'Linenopolis,' was the heart of this booming industry, home to countless mills and factories. The linen produced in these facilities was renowned worldwide for its superb quality, beautiful finish, and excellent durability.

Linen became an integral part of Irish life and society, bringing employment and prosperity to many areas. It was used in everything from clothing and bed linen to sails for ships and even banknotes. Irish linen graced the tables of royalty and the aristocracy and became synonymous with elegance and style.

Irish Linen Today

Today, Irish linen enjoys a renewed surge in popularity. With a growing emphasis on sustainability and a resurgence of interest in artisanal crafts, this traditional fabric is experiencing a renaissance. We, at the Irish Design House are so proud to be importing handmade artisinal procucts crafted from the finest Irish linen.

We are currently stocking (and have been for many years) - blankets, caps, travel pouches, shawls, scarves, pashminas, throws in. wide selection of colours and styles, by McNutt of Donegal from Donegal in Ireland.

Shop Your Own Irish Linen Treasures!

August 02, 2023 — Sinéad Clarke