A Friendly Monaghan Welcome Awaits At Liz Christy Swallow Studios & Shop, Castleblayney.
Each scarf is carefully hand-knotted in the old fashioned way, before hand-washing which brings out the luxurious softness of the fibres. Essentially Liz's scarves are slow fashion, high quality and distinctive gifts to be worn and enjoyed. With care and gentle hand-washing Liz Christy handwoven scarves will become tomorrow's heirlooms.
Over the years since, this colourful gem, located just outside Castleblayney, has become a popular attraction for visitors to the Drumlin County. In the traditions of Ireland's Ancient East, Liz is always delighted to welcome tourists. What makes the studios an interesting place to visit is that as well as being able to buy Liz's beautiful scarves, visitors will see them being created through the crafts of hand-dyeing and hand-weaving. They may hear the clacking of the flying shuttles or witness the quiet concentration of threading or tying on a warp. They will get to chat to the artisan team as they work. And Liz is known to entertain her visitors with a story or two while giving the tour.
No matter what Liz and her team is working on, she is always delighted to welcome visitors to see how it all comes together; from the hand-dyeing pots to the glorious ribbons of colour being handwoven at the manual looms. Visitors leave Swallow Studios with a new appreciation of the time and skills involved in creating wearable art and knowing that there is indeed More to Monaghan.
Liz Christy's hand-weaving studio and shop is located at Swallow Studios in Annayalla, just north of Castleblayney in County Monaghan, just south of the border with Northern Ireland. Google maps will bring you there using the post code of A75 Y318. The Studio is located in the heart of drumlin countryside, the hilly remnants of the last ice age.
County Monaghan is Ireland's best-kept secret. It's home to Lough Muckno, a world-class centre for angling and wakeboarding; Clones Lace and Carrickmacross Lace, an exquisite technique used in royal wedding dresses over many centuries; round towers, historic houses and the drumlin-dotted landscape which inspired the poems of Patrick Kavanagh.
For the textiles enthusiast, Swallow Studios is a must visit and it situated roughly half way between the lace making towns of Carrickmasross and Clones. The region was traditionally flax growing countryside for the linen industry in Ulster, with scutching, spinning and weaving mills dotted in the landscape along the rivers and streams.
Open Daily 10am - 6pm Sat/Sun By Appointment Only.