Polish sociologist swaps career for fashion designs in Limerick

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Felt maker Kate Ramsey at the Design Craft Council of Ireland
A POLISH born sociologist hasn’t looked back after swapping her career at the University of Limerick to start her company in making felt designs.

A POLISH born sociologist hasn’t looked back after swapping her career at the University of Limerick to start her company in making felt designs.

Kate (Katarzyna) Ramsey, who has lived in Limerick for the past eight years, is now seeing her designs being snapped up by nearly 30 major stockists throughout the country, as well as online buyers throughout the world.

“My fascination with felt started when I bought a felted bag in Barcelona back in 2006. I was so curious about how it was made that I ended up reading everything I could find out about it. I am a completely self taught maker,” she explained.

She had tutored in sociology at UL while studying for her doctorate, but moved to start up Fabulous Felt five years ago, in her own kitchen. Last year she expanded her business, employed one other person and moved into a new studio space, at the Limerick Craft Hub on Cecil Street, which also sells designs by over 50 artisan producers based in the Mid-West.

She researched methods for dying and felting and soon began making scarves, hats and brooches. “When wool becomes densely felted it becomes almost impervious to water, so it keeps us warm and cosy, something essential in this climate.”

She was honoured with the prestigious New Entrant Award from the Royal Dublin Society in 2011 and took second place at the RDS National Craft Competition in the felt making category, as well as a special felt makers Ireland award.

You can see her collections at www.kateramsey.ie or see her newest pieces where she is based at the Limerick Craft Hub, 9 Lower Cecil Street. Her stockists now include House of Ireland, Nassau Street, Dublin 2; Glen Aran in Kinsale, Kenmare, Glengarriff and Shannon, and Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 - Dublin Airport.