Crois Cords: Traditional Irish Woven Belts
Francie Duff gave me a lovely warm, welcome and shared some fascinating insights into their design inspirations.
“The crios belt was traditionally woven and worn by fishermen across Ireland, but particularly on the Aran Islands. It is woven by hand, without a loom, by simply stretching the yarn between two stools or, more traditionally, between one hand and one foot. Just as every family would knit their Aran sweaters with a particular series of stitches in order to distinguish a fisherman drowned at sea, so too would every crios have its own particular identifying set of colours. The crios would have been worn with a bástchóta(waistcoat) and home-spun, handwoven tweed trousers.
During the 17th and 18th Centuries, Ireland came under English Penal Law whereby many aspects of Irish tradition, including religion, language and dress, were banned. It is for this reason that the crios, amongst many other aspects of folk costume, survived only in the remotest parts of Ireland like the Aran Islands. We searched the island to find one of the few remaining crios weavers, Liz, to make our belts exclusively and especially for Stable”