Threads of the Town | Sligo

Hey folks!

I must say I’m loving Lily Lolly Craftfest again this year. We’ve been spoilt for choice with inspiring talks and workshops. Yesterday, we got to meet designer Lynn Costello Erskine of The Pear in Paper at Cáit & I and even got to print our own lino-print card. Last night saw the opening of the Fragments of Tomorrow exhibition on The Factory Performance Space, which featured collections by current and past design graduates of St. Angela’s College. Following the launch was another fantastic panel of Irish designers, interviewed by Eddie Shanahan. This is always the highlight. The panel included leatherworker and fashion accessories designer Úna Burke, Deirdre Duffy of Wild Cocoon, Matt Jones (woodturner), illustrator Oonagh Burke McCann and local handbag designer Anna Vahey of Ana Faye.

Read all about last year’s festival here.

eddie shanahan lily lollypear in the paper


Another event I’d like to tell you about is Threads of the Town: a historical, fashionable walking tour with The Red Petticoat Collective. It takes place tomorrow (Saturday, June 17th) from 11am-1pm.

It celebrates Sligo’s fashion and textile legacy.

Meet the stylish proprietors, tailors and makers who have stocked Sligo’s wardrobe over the years and reminisce over the shops that dotted our streets. Highlights of the tour include a visit to Joseph Martin Bespoke Tailor on Teeling Street, the site of the town’s Victorian linen mill, a talk with David Johnston whose family business has been operating in Sligo for generations. The trail begins outside Joseph Martin and culminates with a show and tell at Lyons Café, to the rear of the historic Henry Lyons department store, a Sligo institution. This informal afternoon session is a chance for you to bring your antique and vintage fashion items to share with the group for chats over tea and cake.

This event is co-organised by a group of local women known as The Red Petticoat Collective, compromised of: Zoe Coleman, Art Historian; Orla Fitzpatrick, Photo Historian; Ruth Griffin, Fashion Historian and Tara Baoth-Mooney, Sustainable Fashion and Textiles Researcher and Designer. The Red Petticoat Collective curates events that show how fashion and textiles have and continue to play an important role in our collective histories.



Tour commences at Joseph Martin Tailor, 1 Teeling Street. Introduction from Ruth Griffin.


Visit to site of the Linen Hall. Short intro’ from Orla Fitzpatrick.


Sligo Museum: Angela Mc Gurrin will show us the Gaelic League jacket and banners, as well

as Countess Markievicz’s apron from her time in prison.


Mullaney Bros: Tara Baoth-Mooney will introduce Mr Mullaney who will tell the group about

the history behind the acquisition of the historic shop and some anecdotes about the tailoring of

suits for customers. Mr Mullaney will also show us the emigration ledger, old drawings for the

signage at the shop.


Johnston’s Court: Ruth Griffin will introduce David Johnston, whose family owned the

drapery there until the land was sold in the 1980s.


Cait & I: Zoe Coleman will introduce the two sisters and proprietors of this local Irish Design

Shop, for a short discussion on the contemporary evolution of textiles and design in Sligo town.


The final stop will be Lyon’s Café where the group will engage in an informal show and tell to

include: Mannequins from Lyon’s and 19th century lace from O’Connor’s Island (courtesy of Sligo

Museum), ​Orla Fitzpatrick will have a display of old advertisements from national papers advertising Sligo businesses and fashions.

Tickets cost €10.

Book through Eventbrite here

For more information see Facebook or click here.

For more information please contact Zoe at or call 087 3109355

1953 advert in the Donegal Democrat advertising Henry Lyons & Co Ltd.

1960s coloured postcard of O'Connell St, Sligo

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *