Play recording: Clothing

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  • Teideal (Title): Clothing.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 840117.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): Joe’s background.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): unavailable.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 17/01/1984.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): evening class.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Manufacture and washing

As part of an introduction to ‘The Rocks of Bawn,’ Joe tells how wool for sweaters and other clothing used to be dyed from lichen scraped off the granite rocks by the sea – scraith chloch. After steeping the lichen in lukewarm water for about six months, the lichen would be removed, and the wool steeped in the liquid for another month. People didn’t buy dye or soap from shops.

He also tells about how women used to wash their clothes by taking them down to the beach, build a huge fire, boil the clothes in the pot, and then take the clothes out and beat them on the rocks with a stick.


This was recorded while Joe was Artist in Residence at University of Washington.