Saturday, July 25, 2015

NEWS: Flax Mill Textiles, Dungiven, Derry

We received a wonderful email from Marion Baur from Flax Mill Textiles, with their latest news. It is heartwarming to see one of the few remaining traditional linen weaving mills thriving! They have expanded their business and their workforce, bringing much needed life to a small town. Indeed, one of their projects is quite interesting. The email contained lots of news, and is full of life, so we will just quote it, rather then giving small digested tracts. From Summer events, workshops, to the local post office...  Read on! 

On May 3rd  Flax-Mill took over the old Post Office in Dungiven, Derry!
"...The longest standing business in the town, located on Main Street (the most frequented road in Northern Ireland) was facing closure with the owner leaving Ireland to go and live in New Zealand. Taking the place on was the result of long debates as to whether we could shoulder a venture of this size. The final decision was certainly influenced by our disgust with politicians here waffling about “saving our local economy…..halting the dying of the towns and villages…..” but doing absolutely nothing about it.
The Old Post Office, which is now a sister-company of Flax-Mill-Textiles, is trying to set a small example against the trend. We kept the three existing jobs at the place and added another one to them. For the foreseeable future we will keep the “old” lines (newsagent, confectionary store, stationary…..), our own products (both cloth and finished items) have been added.

If you are on your way from Belfast to Derry (or vice versa) the old Post Office is the place to stop! Where the postmaster used to sell stamps and weigh parcels you can now watch a weaving loom working, whilst having a cup of coffee and a slice of home-baked cake, needless to say.

The increasing number of visitors and customers over the past two months seems to prove our decision right. For a little bit of background – information see the newspaper report “the return of textile in Dungiven” on our internet-page (

New Old Looms at the Flax-Mill.

We have just purchased 12(!!) machine looms, several of which will be used to increase the cloth-making capacity at Derrylane. The oldest of these beauties was made in 1901, the youngest one in 1947. They are unique machines, will stand a bit of restoration but should be having the shuttles flying soon. At our Open Day on Sept. 12th you will be able to inspect the first one in working order!

Flax Mill Berlin is moving premises!

Some of you already know this, friends have purchased an amazing property outside the city and though procedures are taking a little longer than planned (what’s new?) we will soon be able to announce all the details about our new home in Germany!

 22nd Open Day and Yard Fest at the Flax Mill 
on Saturday, Sept. 12th 2015.

(Read more about the Open Day/Yard Fest here)

The blood-pressure is beginning to rise and things are shaping beautifully – that’s the general mood we can tell you about. After last year’s record attendance and indescribably good atmosphere we know now for sure that we will have to shift up a gear once more (if that is possible). The buzz is mighty and at this stage, with 2 months to go we have more people booked to attend, demonstrate, bring their unique products, and take part in the concert….than ever before and from all corners of the globe!
The programme for both Open Day and gig is ready to go to print and will do so directly after this newsletter has gone out in English, German and French.

Here are some of the highlights: 
The cream of textile crafters demonstrating:
  • Wool-felting by Jacky Sleator (Derry City).
  • Yarn-spinning on two wheels by the unique Eileen Patterson and Lynda Kelly.
  • All our looms in action with guest-weaver Emma Porter (Berlin) and “our own” Maura Mc Kee in the driving seats
  • One of Ireland’s best weavers and designers Sarah Morrison from Derry City to be present.
  • Hand embroidery like you have never seen before with famous embroiderer and tutor of hand-embroidery, Dr Lynn Hulse coming from London to our open day for the first time. She will not only run a stall but also an amazing workshop (see here for details).
  • Cloth dyeing with natural dyes by master dyer Christine Boyle from Belfast.
  • Plus: local crochets, cushions made in Belfast, master – knitters, tailors from Germany and Ireland, the top designers on these shores and from far away

Workshop in Ornamental Embroidery with Lynn Hulse
Read more about the workshop here

Mill Lane, 
Co. L'derry
BT 47 4QD

Tel: 0044 28 77742655

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