Clothing in the Past

Science in everyday life, both past and present. Combining an interactive tour and a hands-on workshop.

Lots of information for the children, they loved trying on the clothes, carding and spinning the wool

St. Josephs NS

Tour & Workshop at a Glance

Level             1st to 6th Class
Group Size   15
Location       Galleries + Activity Room
Duration       2.5hrs
Times            10am- 11am + Break 30min + 11.30-12.30pm

Curriculum Links

SESE: Science, History, Geography

Learning Outcomes

  • Tour: Natural materials and how clothes were made.

Focusing on the ‘Aran Islands Clothing’ and ‘Clothing the Family’ sections of the
galleries, particular attention is drawn to the clothing styles, the raw materials and the processes and techniques involved in making the clothes Activity (Materials & Change: Wool Processing): the group is shown fleece in its raw state, how to card raw fleece and how to use a drop spindle. The group will be given an opportunity to use the carders and drop spindle.
  • Workshop: Dyeing experiment with red cabbage.

An introduction to clothing in the past, the processes involved in dyeing, natural and chemical dyes.


Part 1: Dyeing material using red cabbage. 

Part 2: Using left over cabbage water as an indicator for acids and alkalis.

Resources and Suggestions:

Tour and Workshop Description (202KB, Adobe .pdf)

Glossary and Wool Dyeing with Onion Skins (153KB, Adobe .pdf)