Irish Léine was hitched up to knee length and held in place by
a belt, known in Gaelic as a Crios (pronounced "kriss"). The
traditional Crios was made of hand-woven wool of several colours and
shades. Although no images have survived showing the Léine worn
with the woollen Crios, there are some extant Criosanna (the plural
form) kept in the National Museum of Ireland and the earliest date to
the mid 1600s. These are unlikely to have been the first of them to
be made and they are no doubt of a much earlier vintage. The earliest
surviving Irish belt was made of horse hair and has the same type of
tasselled ends as we find on the colourful woollen Criosanna of many
Crios survived well into the twentieth century, worn by the people of
the Aran Islands. These Criosanna are three metres long and are worn
wrapped around the body with one ending left hanging. The other end
is simply tucked in to the layers wrapped around. It therefore has no
knots or ties but simply held in place by itself.
variety of colours are found in the Irish Crios and we have many examples
of this ancient technique. Some have loose fringed ends and some have
decorative knotwork. While the three metre long Crios is the archetypal
form, we have some shorter lengths which are used as children. Shorter
Criosanna also serve as hand-fasting cords and as such are becoming
very popular, both in religious and secular weddings. All our Criosanna
simple leather belts were also worn with the Léine. We occasionally
have some of this type for sale.
do not have to be worn with traditional clothing. They look fantastic
worn with modern jeans, casual trousers and skirts. See examples below.
use only 100% wool, as our ancestors did.
Criosanna are suitable for hand-fasting and as a lasting memory of your
is traditionally part of the Gaelic wedding (Irish/Scottish) custom.
Gaelic crios can be worn with modern clothing giving it a cool edge.
— There are approx. 600 feet of yarn in three metres of crios.
— Colour can vary depending on the settings of your monitor.