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A more modern building at Avoca Handweavers, a clothing manufacturing and retail business. It's the oldest opreating woolen mill in Ireland as well as Ireland's oldest surviving business. The mill is in a beautiful albeit isolated valley in the heart of County Wicklow. It's situated on a bank of the fairly fast-flowing River Avoca, and thus utilized a water wheel for power.A barter system was used at the earliest mill, established in 1723. New looms were installed in 1760 to speed up the process: the Fly Shuttle Looms could weave up to 60 feet of cloth a day. Reportedly, the new technology caused riots among workers who feared that they would lose their jobs; some mills were even burned. In the 1920s, three sisters inherited the mill and introduced natural dyes. Their famous Avoca Handweavers tweeds were soon sold all over the world. They reportedly designed cloth for designer Elsa Schiaparelli, king George VI and even baby blankets for the childern of Queen Elizabeth II. The mill was sold again in 1974, to Donald Pratt, who along with his wife Hilary continued to operate the mill. It's a popular tourist destination during summer months, when even on weekends visitors can tour the interior of the mill and see the traditional fly shuttle looms in operation.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 74 W: 78 N: 604] (1370)
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