Category Archives: History

125 Years of Weaving – The Tradition of John Hanly & Co Ltd (Part 1)

John Hanly & Co Ltd was established in 1893. The company has always been under the management of the Hanly family and the current managing director, Brian Hanly is the fourth generation.

Before moving to Ballyartella outside Nenagh, Denis Hanly and his son John operated a number of handlooms in South County Tipperary, approx 40 miles from Nenagh. In 1893 they moved their machinery to Ballyartella in the North of the county. They took over a vacant mill beside the Nenagh River and a large wheel provided the power necessary to operate the machinery.

The business expanded to spinning and carding, the main products being flannels and blankets. At that time, all products were sold within Ireland and the UK under the guidance of the founder’s son, John Hanly who became Managing Director.

Business continued in this way for many years. Local farmers brought their fleeces to the mill for purchase. Spinning, carding and weaving took place within the six-storey mill.

Top Historical and Heritage Sites in County Tipperary, Ireland

Planning a trip to Ireland? Forget Dublin and Cork. If you want to immerse yourself in the rich, millennia-old history of Ireland, you should head for County Tipperary. County Tipperary is home to some of the country’s greatest and oldest historical treasures.

Cahir Castle

Ireland is home to hundreds of castles, but few are as well-preserved as CahirCahir Castle
Castle. This early 12th century castle is located on a small island within Cahir town centre. Most of the castle is open for exploration, so you’re free to explore at your own pace. Since the famous Rock of Cashel about half an hour away, big crowds aren’t usually a problem at Cahir.


Swiss Cottage

Swiss CottageAfter you leave Cahir Castle, don’t miss the Swiss Cottage, located just 2 km away. This quaint thatched cottage, located in the Clogheen countryside, combines rural and royal. Have you ever seen a thatched country cottage with a lavish spiral staircase? You will when you visit the Swiss Cottage. Though in disrepair as recently as the late 1990s, the Swiss Cottage has since been fully restored according to its original décor. Make sure to plan your visit for the first Wednesday of the month for free entry.

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Cashmere: History and Origins

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACashmere has always been synonymous with luxury and comfort. Made from the fleece of the cashmere goat found in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Mongolia and China, the earliest documented use of cashmere can be traced back to as early as the 14th century.

To produce enough cashmere for a single scarf, a goat usually needs a year. The long and smooth fibres are combed from underneath the chin and selected based on quality, after which the hairs are cleaned and spun into a filament which can be woven or knitted. Due to the specifics of the cashmere goat’s hair, the cashmere is much thicker, softer and more isothermal than a sheep’s wool. The allure of cashmere has much to do with its origins: the cashmere goats inhabit areas with extreme weather conditions such – in the cold, dry and tough terrains of Mongolia, winters can easily hit temperatures of around 45 degrees below zero. There is a saying that the harder the goat is, the softer the cashmere is.

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The History of Tweed Cap Fashion

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe tweed cap has been thrust into the spotlight in the last few decades. It has been adopted as a fashion trend by many high profile celebrities after a few decades of obscurity. We have previously written about the history of the flat cap, but as this trend shows no sign of relenting anytime soon, let’s delve deeper into the origins of this classic piece! Continue reading

The Wool Clothing Boom of the 1950’s

The 1950’s were an interesting time for fashion with the focus firmly on glamour and silhouette. With the end of the Second World War and rationing also came the rise of the teenager. Where previously this age bracket had sought to dress like their parents, they were now breaking free of dowdy clothing and differentiating themselves from their elders. 
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Wool Production in Iran

Wool is a widely popular and sustainable fibre that is used all over the world. When it comes to Iran, wool is the oldest fibre that has been used for textile production. Several important archaeological discoveries have confirmed the fact that goats and sheep were utilised in this way as far back as 6500 BC, possibly before! Tools to make the process easier and more efficient have also been found, with experts believing they date back as far as 5000 BC. Continue reading

Wool Trends 2015: Ponchos and Capes

john hanly capeThe fashion world is gearing up for autumn, with many designers who showcased their Fall/Winter collections in February now influencing the trends seen on the high street. Wool has dominated the fashion scene, with a special focus on the poncho or cape as the must-have accessory for anyone’s winter wardrobe.

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A Little Bit of Background

imageAs we progress into the 125th year of existence as John Hanly & Co, we would like to take a look back at how the company started and the achievments we have made along the way! When the company was started in 1893, we primarily specialised in the production of throws and scarves. The fabrics we used were mostly mohair, lambswool, cashmere and wool. However we also occasionally used a selection of other natural fibres.  Continue reading