The story of Atkinsons royal Irish poplin starts in the southern French city of Avignon. Where in the 1400s papeline a silk fabric named for the papal residence, was woven into ecclesiastical robes. Avignon is a beautiful city that we love to visit in the summer, when there are many street entertainers and great weather. The Pope's palace is still there but it has an empty feeling as most of the furniture and tapestries are no longer there.
During troubled times in the 17th century hundreds of Huguenot refugee weavers from Avignon moved to Ireland, where they joined Irish weavers in the Coombe Valley. The original silk papeline evolved over a hundred years into Irish poplin - a heavy fabric consisting of a rich silk warp and a fine worsted wool weft. The weft is thick and gives the fabric a ribbed look similar to a repp weave.
Originally Irish poplin was handwoven in the homes of the weavers similar to the way most handwoven Thai silk is still woven to this day. The craft of weaving Irish poplin was handed down from father to son with no outsiders allowed to become apprentices under the laws of the weavers guild.
In 1820 Richard Atkinson who later became the Lord Mayor of Dublin, asked a group of weavers to make their Irish poplin for his shop. By 1837 Mr. Atkinson's Irish poplin fabric was so popular that Queen Victoria granted Atkinsons a Royal Warrant.
In the early 1900s Atkinsons moved away from ladies fabrics towards the production of Irish poplin for cravats and ties.
Today's Atkinsons Royal Irish Poplin is a beautiful 50-50 blend of the finest silk and Australian merino wool which is dyed in Scotland. The weaving and finishing is done in Ireland.
Sam Hober uses Atkinsons Royal Irish Poplin fabric to make beautiful bespoke ties in our workshop the old-fashioned way: Very slowly, by hand, one by one.
You can select one of the Atkinsons Irish poplins that we have on hand and specify the length, width and shape as well as the construction.
We are the only tie maker that is making lined six-fold ties and pocket squares from Atkinsons Irish poplin.