There is a great little shop in Ennistymon, Co. Clare, Ireland called Irish Hand Weaves. I went in and had a look at some of the work and I was really impressed by the creativity, beauty and high quality of the work. It is all created by Jean Moran of Irish Hand Weaves.


I’d walked by the shop lots of times before I finally had the chance to go in.  The window display changes fairly frequently and there were some woven belts that looked perfect for use as handfasting cords so I had been meaning to go in and ask the owner of the shop if I could photograph her work.

As these belts or cords are hand woven (and can be made to order), they can come in a longer length, and  a wide variety of colours.




I think that a beautiful item like this would be perfect to use in a wedding or elopement as a handfasting cord because it would be a lovely memento and heirloom afterwards. The beauty of the piece means, of course, that framed it would look stunning (and many people do frame their handfasting cords). Others still like to reuse parts of the cord to decorate baby naming or christening blankets or gowns. Another use for these particular ones is that you could use them as a soft decorative belt.. I love that idea, of being able to use a key part of your wedding in your everyday life.





Jean weaves larger pieces too, and I think this is a great idea for an outdoor Irish elopement or wedding- the weather in Ireland is quite unpredictable. Jeans hand woven scarves and shawls are  beautiful pieces of wearable art. Have a look on Pinterest at how shawls and wedding dresses team up surprisingly well!


Women in Ireland traditionally wore shawls so this is a lovely nod to the past, Irish tradition and ancestors.


For anyone travelling to Ireland to elope, marry or renew your wedding vows, using an Irish designed and made piece as part of your ceremony, be it part of your ceremony enhancements, handfasting or ensemble, is a great way to further honour your love of Ireland and it makes for a perfect souvenir. Not to mention how romantic that will look- standing in a wedding dress and shawl on the Cliffs of Moher, gazing out at the Atlantic Ocean…

Check out Jean Morans website http://irishhandweaves.ie/ or her shop and studio in Ennistymon, Co. Clar



The Galway Shawl
At Oranmore in the county Galway
One pleasant evening in the month’s of May
I spied a damsel; she was young and handsome
Her beauty fairly took my breath away
She worn no jewels, nor costly diamonds
No paint nor powder, no none at all
But she worn a bonnet with ribbons on it
And ’round her shoulders was the Galway shawl
We kept on walking she kept on talking
Till her fathers cottage came in to view
Said she, ‘come in sir’, and meet my father
And play, to please him, ‘The Foggy Dew’
She sat me down beside the hearthstone
I could see her father he was six feet tall
And soon her mother, had the kettle singing
All I could think of, was the Galway shawl
She worn no jewels, nor costly diamonds
No paint nor powder, no none at all
But she worn a bonnet with ribbons on it
And ’round her shoulders was the Galway shawl
I played, ‘The Black Bird’, ‘The Stack of Barley’
‘Rodney’s Glory’ and ‘The Foggy Dew’
She sang each note like an Irish linnet
And tears weld in her eyes of blue
‘Twas early, early, all in the morning
I hit the road for old Donegal
Said she, ‘goodbye sir’, she cried and kissed me
But my heart remain with the Galway shawl