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Kiri Cottage Christine Casey

I am participating in the Ards and North Down Borough Council “Experience AND 2023 Programme of Unique Immerse Experiences, Guided Walks, and Tours” this year. The first workshop I am running is “Bonnets and Lace” on 28 May 2023. This can be booked through this link:

Learn tradition skills of the region in this have-a-go workshop in the relaxed setting of Kiri Cottage Crafts in the heart of the Ards Peninsula.

Sewing was a source of income for women of the Ards Peninsula in and around the 19th Century, creating bonnets, sewing tambour embroidery (often beaded) to adorn the hems of ladies’ dresses, and spinning flax to linen thread for weaving.

Have a go at the straw plaiting technique used in bonnet making, and also at how the plaited straw would have been sewn together to make a ‘fabric’.

There will also be a demonstration of flax spinning, using an authentic wheel from the period.

No previous sewing or embroidery experience is needed in order to take part in this workshop, as full instructions and guidance will be provided. All equipment and materials are also provided, and you take home whatever you make.

Homemade traditional Northern Irish breads and cakes, tea and coffee, will be served for you to enjoy.

Kiri Cottage Spinning

The full list of experiences available in May can be found here: