Avoca Handwoven from Ireland

I’ve written about Avoca before, or rather Graham Wynne, whose family owned Avoca for years wrote a great piece for The Vintage Traveler about the relationship between Avoca Handwoven in Ireland and the Carol Brown company in Vermont.  It’s a great story if you have not already read it.

Last week I found a cap with the Avoca Collection label.  The cap is made from a beautiful handwoven wool, very similar in texture to the dress I have from Carol Brown.  And while the Carol Brown dress was easy to date based on style, the cap is a bit harder, being a classic style with a small brim that snaps.

There are some clues on the label, the Woolmark, which was first used in 1964, and the Ginetex care symbols.  These symbols were created in 1963, but were first used in Great Britain in 1975.  Actually, all the information I’ve ever found and read about Ginetex has been very confusing, but I did learn from the Ginetex site that in 1983 a fifth symbol, that of the tumble dryer, was added.  If that information is correct, then I can safely date my cap between 1975 and 1983.

Not that I really care, but I do like to know the stories behind things.  Avoca is still in operation, with wovens still being produced.  The company is now very different, with it having a line of fashionable clothing and housewares.  I could not find on their site where woven caps were still being made, although scarves and throws are offered.

I love the colors used in this fabric.  The medium blue must be the warp, or the base yarns through which the weft is woven.  The weft varies from green to blue to violet. It makes for a very interesting textile, much more so than using the same color year for both the warp and the weft.

Today you can tour the Avoca Mill.  Field trip anyone?


Filed under Curiosities, Vintage Clothing

13 responses to “Avoca Handwoven from Ireland

  1. A very pretty wool and the variation in wool colors makes for an interesting effect. I like it, too.
    Is woof the same as weft? Seems I remember from sewing class (1946)… the woof thread is the one going across and the warp thread is the length of the fabric. I could never keep it straight….or is either correct.?


  2. If wishes were tickets, I’d be right there with you on that field trip!


  3. diana coleman

    We leave for Ireland a week from today. Will keep my eyes open for Avoco Handwovens. Shopping list?


  4. diana coleman



  5. Fabulous cap Lizzie. The colours are so pretty.

    The famous woolmark symbol was designed in 1964 by Italian graphic artist, Francesco Saroglia. Just wondering if it was actually used in the UK from the mid-1960s or perhaps a much later date, as with the Ginetex care symbols?


  6. vastlycurious.com

    It’s a beauty ! I’d love a field trip! Will you wear it?

    I am wearing a similar style to a NL “football” party tonight that was white and I died it bright orange. (perhaps the first orange piece of clothing I have ever worn)


  7. vastlycurious.com

    **dyed it (damit : )


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