Home » Haberdashery!


Haberdashery!  A wonderful word, not really in common use any more.  The English Oxford Dictionary defines it as  “Small items used in sewing, such as buttons, zips, and thread”.   To many of us of a certain age it means so much more.  It evokes an era where these small items formed an important part of the everyday chores of a woman.  They were the tools enabling the constant repairing and darning that kept husband, children and home dressed ‘respectably’!  It conjures a picture of our grandmothers sitting patiently stitching under the best of the available light, silver thimble at hand.

The 04 Textile Group has chosen this word as the name for their beautiful and thought provoking exhibition which opened at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre on 15th November and runs until 5th January.    The exhibition combines contemporary stitched textile pieces with various historical artifacts related to domestic textile activity.  Women’s work was often hidden, unacknowledged and undervalued.  This exhibition celebrates that work.

One of our own, Colleen Prendiville, is also a member of the 04 Group and her work was inspired by pieces of old linen, a woman’s bonnet, a baby’s cotton jacket, nappy pins, handmade lace and lace hooks, which she discovered in a derelict house in the small village of Ager in Catalonia in 2004.


They are remnants of people’s lives, of women’s lives. Most items were stored in old shoe boxes. The lace samples unfinished as if their makers were planning to continue their work. Some of the pieces less complex …  perhaps young girls worked with their mothers and aunts or grandmothers?
Colleen took her inspiration from the many nappy pins and her installation ‘Carrer Sant Pere I’ uses old linen from the house with machine stitch-wrapped nappy pins.
Her piece ‘Carrer Sant Pere II’ continues the pin motif … rubbings with machine overstitching, overlaid with sheer.



It is a lovely exhibition in a lovely location.  Do take the time to visit if you have an opportunity.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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