Críos Belt

The traditional críos belt was woven with the warp held between toes and hand, with woollen threads acting as heddles and shafts creating the shed, through which the weft goes through.  They were very brightly coloured, with greens, navys, yellows, blues, Whites and blacks with the Whites framing the belt.  Today the críos belt is mainly made on the inkle loom.  

During the Penal Times of the 17th and 18th century, not only was there a ban on the Irish language,  Catholicism, and more, there was a ban on the wearing of traditional Irish dress, which included the críos belt.  The wearing of traditional Irish hairstyles were also prohibited, robbing a people of their identity.  Thank God, the making of the críos belt continued on the remote Aran Islands, off the west coast of Connemara.  Both men and women would have traditionally  worn the colorful belts wrapped around their waists, with the length of the men's, 3 meters and the women's, 2 meters, with three braids hanging at the end of each end of the belt, or as another stated regarding the length, 'as long as your outstretched arms'

In the National Museum of Ireland, one can see the traditional críos belt, with the earliest one dating back to 1600.

Here are two examples of críos belts woven by myself on the floor loom, with a contemporary edge to them.  They are modelled on contemporary Aran sweaters created by Diarmuid Neilen,  of Ekotree, Doolin,  Co Clare.

            
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