Clothing Women

The traditional Connemara clothing seems to have remained relatively unchanged up to the mid 19 th century. However Variations on the basic dress items emerged eg Connemara shawl.  The common items of clothing for Connemara women included: Leine Mna : ankle length linen dress decorated at cuffs, hem and neck, close fitting sleeves, one colour. Ionar Mna : over dress or tunic, woollen, shorter than leine. Brat : rectangular cloak made of wool, single colour usually fringed and decorated with embroidery at hems. These were at least same length as the wearer s height.  Caille : veil or head covering. This would appear to have been a fashion or modesty item worn by most women. Young girls would probably not have worn veils as a rule. Crois : Belt of woollen tablet weaving or leather. Mala : Pouch or small bag worn on the crois. Broga : Shoes of leather or hide. The availability of cheap factory produced cloth and affordable postal services rapidly changed the fabrics and dress habits of Connemara women in the last half of the 19th century.