Vintage Fashions - A Remarkable Irish Linen Industry - 1907
With the tide of Canadian tourists to Great Britain increasing each season, a greater number visited Ireland this year on account of the International Exhibition, where the Canadian Pavilion was a centre of attraction, but particularly more so the various interesting exhibits of Irish products and manufactures, affording evident proofs of the progress and development generally of Irish industry and trade.
Numerous efforts have been made in recent years to increase the agricultural and industrial resources of the country by philanthropic and other means, to develop the well-known native skill and talent in the production of so many articles of use and fabrics for personal wear.
The products of the Irish peasants have long been famed for their quality and excellent workmanship, but notwithstanding the knowledge, taste and economy displayed by these industrious cottagers, they were long hindered by being unable to find a profitable and steady market.
The value and popularity of Irish homespuns, tweeds, linens, and laces, are fully recognized the world over; the real homespun is unequalled for wear, and the Irish tweed for all manner of outdoor apparel is not surpassed for durability or hard usage in the most rigorous climate.
These goods have become more popular of late seasons than at any previous period. This has been in a large measure due to the energy and enterprise of the noted firm of Messrs. Hamilton & Co., "The White House," Portrush, Ireland. Portrush is a beautiful resort, situated in the `north-west corner of Antrim County, North of Ireland, a district every Canadian tourist should visit. A short journey from Belfast—the surrounding vicinity—the Giant's Causeway, and other points being full of interest. But the White House, itself, is a veritable exhibition of Irish peasant industry.
Here has been steadily developed a constant and growing demand for all the home work that can be produced during the year in the hundreds of cottages through all the most northern parts .of Ireland. The business originated with the production of homespuns by Mr. H. Hamilton less than twenty years since, and soon became famous as "Hamilton's Irish Homespuns."
The firm have made that their unique specialty —knowing that among woven woollen fabrics for clothing, no material could compete for true economy of wear. Many departments have been added in the now spacious premises of "The White House," Portrush. Irish tweeds, friezes, serges, linens, laces, hosiery, pottery, bog oak novelties, etc.; in fact, all the handiwork of the Irish peasant, and overy article of an exceptionally high standard, being as distinctive in quality and character as the original genuine homespuns.
Fully equipped clothing and tailoring departments supply costumes for ladies, in men's wear, business and travelling suits, overcoats, rugs, sporting outfits, measurements being sent by post—a perfect fit is assured, as hundreds of appreciative testimonials show.
In the interest of lady readers, mention must be made of the many exquisite and rare specimens of Irish lace—in such profusion of design—and the embroideries and pure table linens.
"The White House" has been termed a regular trading centre for the Irish peasant, for here these hundreds of skilled Celtic craftsmen, with such artistic talent, can dispose of their very best work. They find "The White House" a great distributing point for their work over all parts of the world, besides obtaining a fair market value for their product and labour.
Every patron of "The White House," and these are to be found in almost any part of the globe, can rely upon the absolute quality of the fabric or article desired, and the very best value, the real Irish work being procured from the peasants themselves at first hand.
Messrs. Hamilton & Co. will send any reader Of THE CANADIAN MAGAZINE their illustrated budget, containing a complete list of the great variety of articles they can supply—patterns of homespuns and tweeds, which are specially suitable for Canadian wear--on application to "The White House," Portrush Ireland.
Source: The Canadian Magazine, Volume 29, 1907