School: Ball Áluinn (Balla) (roll number 1146)

Balla, Co. Mayo
P. Ó Maolanaigh

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The Local Tailors

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0095, Page 185

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The Local Tailors
There are three tailors in our district. All work in their own houses. Two of these stock cloth. The price of making a man's suit is about twenty-five shillings. This is in addition to the cost of the cloth and trimming. The old people remember when the tailor used to come round from house to house and make clothes for the whole family. This cloth had been made by the local weaver. The women spun the wool and it was then made into frieze. Cunningham of Kinnaffe near Kiltimagh had a loom. Not much spinning is done now in this parish. No weaving is done.
There is a saying that a tailor is only the ninth part of a man. Also that a tinker's wife and a tailor's wife never agree.
Shirts are not now made in this locality. They used to be made from linen from flax grown locally at one time. There are still some sheets used on the beds for a corpse that were made of local woven linen. Socks and stockings are still knitted locally. The thread is spun in about four houses. Sometimes the wool is sent to Foxford or Galway to be spun. There are about six spinning wheels in the district. There is only one flax wheel and that is now out of use. Mrs Conway of Rathduff (deceased about four years) was the last to use one, and that was years before her death. I saw some of the tow in her house.

P. Ó Maolanaigh