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Annie Dibble (Researcher & Co-Producer)

Annie Dibble is an artist/designer and researcher. She lectured on woven textiles at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin for over twenty years and was a a founding member of the Design Ethics Group, actively working to promote ethical approaches to textile design and education.

Between 1989 - 1991 Annie researched and recorded a number of 14th & 16th century woollen garments found in Irish peat bogs, for the Office of Public works in Dublin. She also spent time in China and Indonesia researching traditional textile production.

Her long time interest in natural fibres and responsible design took her to Nepal in 2005, where she began research into sustainable textile materials in the eastern hills close to Everest where indigenous nettle fibre has been the main source of income since the 5th century BC. It is a fibre that leaves no negative imprint upon the locality or the producers, and is still harvested and processed entirely by hand.

That same year, a visit to India brought her into contact with the silk zari weavers of Varanasi, where Muslim and Hindu families have woven a life together since the 11th century.

Since then, her research has focused on the intricate relationship between the earliest Muslim settlers whose knowledge and expertise contributed to what is perhaps the most extraordinary cloth produced by hand in the world today, and the Hindu traders on whom they depend.

Annie has presented her research papers at the Fashioning an Ethical Industry (FEI) Symposium, and at the UK Nepal Festival in 2008. She has had several articles published in the Weavers Journal as well as the UK Crafts Magazine. Her work for the OPW is permanently on display at the Strokestown Famine Museum, Rathmullen Visitors Centre, and Glencolmcille Centre, Donegal. In 2010 her research earned a prize at the RDS Crafts Exhibition.

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