The River Barrow runs through the heart of the picturesque town of Graiguenamanagh, where a small order of Cistercian monks first channeled the power of the river to turn the wheel of the textile mills near their abbey. Although a lot has changed since 1204, this same mountain water is the lifeblood of this woolen mill, where soft mohair fine yarns are still being spun into create textiles of unmatched quality. Six generations of the Cushen family have pioneered this textile workshop, the latest head being the first woman to do so.
Sourcing the finest mohair from Italy, the loose yarns are washed in the mountain water, before being dried and dyed in small batches. It’s this delicate, deliberate process that creates the signature textures that the mill is known around the world for. From there, the fibers are woven together, inspected for quality, and then brushed to bring out a soft, lustrous shine. Many of the machines at the mill are over a century old, so the process requires the skill of an experienced artisan.
As one of only two remaining vertical mills left in Ireland, the mill prides itself on their ability to produce small batch, fully traceable Irish wool products that preserve the heritage and history of this small town.